Oracle/SQL Tutorial1

Michael Gertz Database and Information Systems Group Department of Computer Science University of California, Davis

This Oracle/SQL tutorial provides a detailed introduction to the SQL query language and the Oracle Relational Database Management System. Further information about Oracle and SQL can be found on the web site Comments, corrections, or additions to these notes are welcome. Many thanks to Christina Chung for comments on the previous version.

Recommended Literature The complete Oracle Documentation is available online at Free subscription! Oracle Press has several good books on various Oracle topics. See O’Reilly has about 30 excellent Oracle books, including Steven Feuerstein’s Oracle PL/SQL Programming (3rd edition). See Jim Melton and Alan R. Simon: SQL: 1999 - Understanding Relational Language Components (1st Edition, May 2001), Morgan Kaufmann. Jim Celko has a couple of very good books that cover advanced SQL queries and programming. Check any of your favorite (online)bookstore. If you want to know more about constraints and triggers, you might want to check the following article: Can T¨rker and Michael Gertz: Semantic Integrity Support in SQL:1999 and u Commercial (Object-)Relational Database Management Systems. The VLDB Journal, Volume 10, Number 4, 241-269.

revised Version 1.01, January 2000, Michael Gertz, Copyright 2000.

1. SQL – Structured Query Language 1.1. Tables 1.2. Queries (Part I) 1.3. Data Definition in SQL 1.4. Data Modifications in SQL 1.5. Queries (Part II) 1.6. Views 2. SQL*Plus (Minimal User Guide, Editor Commands, Help System) 3. Oracle Data Dictionary 4. Application Programming 4.1. PL/SQL 4.1.1 Introduction 4.1.2 Structure of PL/SQL Blocks 4.1.3 Declarations 4.1.4 Language Elements 4.1.5 Exception Handling 4.1.6 Procedures and Functions 4.1.7 Packages 4.1.8 Programming in PL/SQL 4.2. Embedded SQL and Pro*C 5. Integrity Constraints and Triggers 5.1. Integrity Constraints 5.1.1 Check Constraints 5.1.2 Foreign Key Constraints 5.1.3 More About Column- and Table Constraints 5.2. Triggers 5.2.1 Overview 5.2.2 Structure of Triggers 5.2.3 Example Triggers 5.2.4 Programming Triggers 6. System Architecture 6.1. Storage Management and Processes 6.2. Logical Database Structures 6.3. Physical Database Structures 6.4. Steps in Processing an SQL Statement 6.5. Creating Database Objects 1 3 6 9 11 19 20 23

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SQL – Structured Query Language

In relational database systems (DBS) data are represented using tables (relations). A query issued against the DBS also results in a table. A table has the following structure: Column 1 Column 2 . . . Column n ←− Tuple (or Record) ... ... ... ...

A table is uniquely identified by its name and consists of rows that contain the stored information, each row containing exactly one tuple (or record ). A table can have one or more columns. A column is made up of a column name and a data type, and it describes an attribute of the tuples. The structure of a table, also called relation schema, thus is defined by its attributes. The type of information to be stored in a table is defined by the data types of the attributes at table creation time. SQL uses the terms table, row, and column for relation, tuple, and attribute, respectively. In this tutorial we will use the terms interchangeably. A table can have up to 254 columns which may have different or same data types and sets of values (domains), respectively. Possible domains are alphanumeric data (strings), numbers and date formats. Oracle offers the following basic data types: • char(n): Fixed-length character data (string), n characters long. The maximum size for n is 255 bytes (2000 in Oracle8). Note that a string of type char is always padded on right with blanks to full length of n. ( can be memory consuming). Example: char(40) • varchar2(n): Variable-length character string. The maximum size for n is 2000 (4000 in Oracle8). Only the bytes used for a string require storage. Example: varchar2(80) • number(o, d): Numeric data type for integers and reals. o = overall number of digits, d = number of digits to the right of the decimal point. Maximum values: o =38, d= −84 to +127. Examples: number(8), number(5,2) Note that, e.g., number(5,2) cannot contain anything larger than 999.99 without resulting in an error. Data types derived from number are int[eger], dec[imal], smallint and real. • date: Date data type for storing date and time. The default format for a date is: DD-MMM-YY. Examples: ’13-OCT-94’, ’07-JAN-98’ 1

.... The tables can be dropped by issuing the command demodrop under the UNIX shell.. 1... ENAME:varchar2(30)... A database schema is a set of relation schemas. • a table has no duplicate tuples (depending on the query.1........• long: Character data up to a length of 2GB.. Only one long column is allowed per table.... Further properties of tables are: • the order in which tuples appear in a table is not relevant (unless a query requires an explicit sorting).... It can. be simulated by using either char(1) or number(1). DEPTNO:number(2) Each row (tuple) from the table is interpreted as follows: an employee has a number.. The extension of a database schema at database run-time is called a database instance or database. and the number of the department where he/she is working are stored... the following data types are defined: EMPNO:number(4).. however....... Furthermore. a job title and a salary........2). duplicate tuples can appear in the query result).. for short. and it is also different from the empty string ’’. HIREDATE:date.... The corresponding tables can be created under the UNIX shell using the command demobld... As long as no constraint restricts the possible values of an attribute. The table EMP is used to store information about employees: EMPNO ENAME JOB MGR HIREDATE SAL DEPTNO 7369 SMITH CLERK 7902 17-DEC-80 800 20 7499 ALLEN SALESMAN 7698 20-FEB-81 1600 30 7521 WARD SALESMAN 7698 22-FEB-81 1250 30 .. it may have the special value null (for unknown)...1 Example Database In the following discussions and examples we use an example database to manage information about employees.. however. SAL:number(7. Note: In Oracle-SQL there is no data type boolean....... for each employee the number of his/her manager. JOB:char(10). departments and salary scales. 2 .. a name. the date he/she was hired. This value is different from the number 0. 7698 BLAKE MANAGER 01-MAY-81 3850 30 7902 FORD ANALYST 7566 03-DEC-81 3000 10 For the attributes.. MGR:number(4).

3 .2. DEPTNO. retrieves all tuples with all columns from the table EMP. The query select ∗ from EMP. and location): DEPTNO 10 20 30 40 DNAME STORE RESEARCH SALES MARKETING LOC CHICAGO DALLAS NEW YORK BOSTON Finally.55 from EMP. DEPTNO from DEPT. the SQL query language is used. name. the maximum and minimum salary of each scale. the table SALGRADE contains all information about the salary scales.5 In SQL a query has the following (simplified) form (components in brackets [ ] are optional): select [distinct] <column(s)> from <table> [ where <condition> ] [ order by <column(s) [asc|desc]> ] 1. the select clause may also contain arithmetic expressions involving arithmetic operators etc.2 Queries (Part I) In order to retrieve the information stored in the database. the asterisk symbol “∗” can be used to denote all attributes. select ENAME. If all columns should be selected. GRADE 1 2 3 4 5 LOSAL 700 1201 1401 2001 3001 HISAL 1200 1400 2000 3000 9999 1. For example. This operation is also called projection. Instead of an attribute name. In the following we restrict our attention to simple SQL queries and defer the discussion of more complex queries to Section 1. SAL ∗ 1. more precisely. lists only the number and the location for each tuple from the relation DEPT.1 Selecting Columns The columns to be selected from a table are specified after the keyword select. the query select LOC.The table DEPT stores information about departments (number.

which retrieves the department number for each tuple. ..2. displays the result in an ascending order by the attribute DEPTNO. If two tuples have the same attribute value for DEPTNO. the query select ENAME. . 4 .. concat(string1.... ... . lower. upper. the sorting criteria is a descending order by the attribute values of HIREDATE. HIREDATE desc.. sin. sqrt. In a where clause simple conditions based on comparison operators can be combined using the logical connectives and. forces the elimination of duplicates from the query result. to date. exp. replacement string). −. length. month between.. . For the above query.. desc specifies a descending order and asc specifies an ascending order (this is also the default order). • for strings: chr. • for the date data type: add month.... Typically. from EMP order by DEPTNO [asc]. cos.. next day. It is also possible to specify a sorting order in which the result tuples of a query are displayed.. For this the order by clause is used and which has one or more attributes listed in the select clause as parameter.2 Selection of Tuples Up to now we have only focused on selecting (some) attributes of all tuples from a table. log.. we would get the following output: ENAME DEPTNO HIREDATE FORD 10 03-DEC-81 SMITH 20 17-DEC-80 BLAKE 30 01-MAY-81 WARD 30 22-FEB-81 ALLEN 30 20-FEB-81 . DEPTNO. m. duplicate result tuples are not automatically eliminated.. mod... . +. ∗. or. some numbers will appear more than only once in the query result.. HIREDATE from EMP. . string2). to char.. The usage of these operations is described in detail in the SQL*Plus help system (see also Section 2). and not to form complex conditions.For the different data types supported in Oracle. replace(string. Inserting the keyword distinct after the keyword select.. that is. /. 1.. n).. . Consider the query select DEPTNO from EMP.. translate. substr(string. the where clause is used. If one is interested in tuples that satisfy certain conditions. power. however. . For example.5). search string. Conditions may also include pattern matching operations and even subqueries (Section 1. several operators and functions are provided: • for numbers: abs..

=> are allowed in the conditions of a where clause. the condition would be where DNAME like ’%C%C%’. >. where LOCATION = ’DALLAS’. for a tuple to be selected there must (not) exist a defined value for this column. Together with this operator. For all data types. even the empty string. the underline stands for exactly one character. Thus the condition where DNAME like ’%C C%’ would require that exactly one character appears between the two Cs. To test for inequality. If m is not specified..e. != or <>. Further string operations are: • upper(<string>) takes a string and converts any letters in it to uppercase.g. it is required to surround the string by apostrophes. n [. if one is interested in all tuples of the table DEPT that contain two C in the name of the department. ENAME. the comparison operators =. Further comparison operators are: • Set Conditions: <column> [not] in (<list of values>) Example: select ∗ from DEPT where DEPTNO in (20. starting at position n. 7) returns the string ’SYSTEMS’. In contrast. m]) clips out a m character piece of <string>. The percent sign means that any (sub)string is allowed there. • select ENAME from EMP where HIREDATE between ’02-APR-81’ and ’08-SEP-81’. A powerful operator for pattern matching is the like operator.2.. • length(<string>) returns the length of the string. 10. e. • Null value: <column> is [not] null. the not clause is used.) • lower(<string>) converts any letter to lowercase. and the underline .3 String Operations In order to compare an attribute with a string. the end of the string is assumed. DNAME = upper(DNAME) (The name of a department must consist only of upper case letters. • substr(<string>. Note: the operations = null and ! = null are not defined! • Domain conditions: <column> [not] between <lower bound> and <upper bound> Example: • select EMPNO. Example: select ∗ from EMP where MGR is not null. 1. • initcap(<string>) converts the initial letter of every word in <string> to uppercase.. For example.g.Example: List the job title and the salary of those employees whose manager has the number 7698 or 7566 and who earn more than 1500: select JOB. substr(’DATABASE SYSTEMS’. also called position marker. e. two special characters are used: the percent sign % (also called wild card). <. <=. 5 . SAL from EMP where (MGR = 7698 or MGR = 7566) and SAL > 1500. SAL from EMP where SAL between 1500 and 2500.30). i.

3 1. select sum(SAL) from EMP where DEPTNO = 30.min(SAL) from EMP. select max(SAL) .2.. max(SAL) from EMP. .1... There is no difference between names in lower case letters and names in upper case letters... In fact. min. avg Computes average value for a column (only applicable to the data type number) Note: avg.3. Example: How many different job titles are stored in the relation EMP? select count(distinct JOB) from EMP. the only place where upper and lower case letters matter are strings comparisons. max Maximum value for a column min Minimum value for a column Example: List the minimum and maximum salary.. a name and a data type must be specified and the column name must be unique within the table definition. but count considers null values. Column definitions are separated by comma. Example: Compute the difference between the minimum and maximum salary. 1. min and max ignore tuples that have a null value for the specified attribute. [<table constraint(s)>] ). For each column. A not null 6 .4 Aggregate Functions Aggregate functions are statistical functions such as count.. They are used to compute a single value from a set of attribute values of a column: count Counting Rows Example: How many tuples are stored in the relation EMP? select count(∗) from EMP. sum Computes the sum of values (only applicable to the data type number) Example: Sum of all salaries of employees working in the department 30.. <column n> <data type> [not null] [unique] [<column constraint>]. select min(SAL). max etc.1 Data Definition in SQL Creating Tables The SQL command for creating an empty table has the following form: create table <table> ( <column 1> <data type> [not null] [unique] [<column constraint>].

DEPTNO number(2) ).2). JOB varchar2(10). the database system ensures that no duplicates appear in a table. . The two most simple types of constraints have already been discussed: not null and unique. any column constraint can also be formulated as a table constraint. Based on a primary key.g. for our EMP table.3. . Remark: Except for the columns EMPNO and ENAME null values are allowed. Oracle automatically generates a name of the pattern SYS C<number>. A primary key constraint enables a unique identification of each tuple in a table. If no name is specified for the constraint. It is advisable to name a constraint in order to get more meaningful information when this constraint is violated due to.2 Constraints The definition of a table may include the specification of integrity constraints. Example: The create table statement for our EMP table has the form create table EMP ( EMPNO number(4) not null. SAL number(7. For example. ENAME varchar2(30) not null. More complex constraints will be discussed in Section 5. Probably the most important type of integrity constraints in a database are primary key constraints.1. MGR number(4). ). different from null. Unless the condition not null is also specified for this column.. The specification of a (simple) constraint has the following form: [constraint <name>] primary key | unique | not null A constraint can be named. an insertion of a tuple that violates the constraint. Basically two types of constraints are provided: column constraints are associated with a single column whereas table constraints are typically associated with more than one column. e. The keyword unique specifies that no two tuples can have the same attribute value for this column. In this section we consider only very simple constraints. 1. However. 7 . the attribute value null is allowed and two tuples having the attribute value null for this column do not violate the constraint.constraint is directly specified after the data type of the column and the constraint requires defined attribute values for that column. . the specification create table EMP ( EMPNO number(4) constraint pk emp primary key. HIREDATE date.

g. PERSONS number(5). PEND date). Table definition: create table PROJECT ( PNO number(3) constraint prj pk primary key.the manager and the budget must be defined. PMGR number(4) not null. .the name of a project must be unique. Example: If no start date is given when inserting a tuple into the table PROJECT. Furthermore. 8 . A unique constraint can include more than one attribute. In this case the pattern unique(<column i>.2) not null. the employee number of the project’s manager.defines the attribute EMPNO as the primary key for the table. . we have to add the table constraint constraint no same dates unique(PEND. Each value for the attribute EMPNO thus must appear only once in the table EMP. for example.a project is identified by its project number. . <column j>) is used. of course. we use the default clause. the budget and the number of persons working on the project. the project start date should be set to January 1st. . when a tuple is inserted. For each project. A table. and the start date and end date of the project. Instead of a not null constraint it is sometimes useful to specify a default value for an attribute if no value is given. PSTART date. null values are not allowed. we have the following conditions: . . it is not possible to specify a name for a default. If it is required. For this. Example: We want to create a table called PROJECT to store information about projects. e. 1995: PSTART date default(’01-JAN-95’) Note: Unlike integrity constraints. PSTART) This constraint has to be defined in the create table command after both columns PEND and PSTART have been defined. may only have one primary key. Note that in contrast to a unique constraint. BUDGET number(8. A primary key constraint that includes more than only one column can be specified in an analogous way. that no two projects have the same start and end date. we want to store the number and the name of the project. . PNAME varchar2(60) unique..

’DBS’. 4. Such an insert statement has the form insert into <table> [(<column i. column j>)] <query> Example: Suppose we have defined the following table: 9 . PERSONS. 7411. ’DBS’. the value null is inserted instead. Thus an insertion does not necessarily have to follow the order of the attributes as specified in the create table statement.42. . tuples can be inserted into the table. null. • What are the attributes of the tuples to be stored? What are the data types of the attributes? Should varchar2 be used instead of char ? • Which columns build the primary key? • Which columns do (not) allow null values? Which columns do (not) allow duplicates ? • Are there default values for certain columns that allow null values ? 1.1 Insertions The most simple way to insert a tuple into a table is to use the insert statement insert into <table> [(<column i. value j>). BUDGET. or tuples can be deleted or modified. however. 1. we write a query whose result is a set of tuples to be inserted. null). . or insert into PROJECT values(313.4.3 Checklist for Creating Tables The following provides a small checklist for the issues that need to be considered before creating a table. column j>)] values (<value i. 150000. 150000. . ’10-OCT-94’). For this. . . a corresponding (matching) value must be specified. Examples: insert into PROJECT(PNO. these data can be used for insertions into a new table. . If a column is omitted. . .4 Data Modifications in SQL After a table has been created using the create table command. If no column list is given. ’10-OCT-94’. . . For each of the listed columns. PSTART) values(313.3. . . If there are already some data in other tables. PNAME.1.42. for each column as defined in the create table statement a value must be given.

<column j> = <expression j> [where <condition>]. HIREDATE from EMP where HIREDATE < ’31-DEC-60’. an arithmetic or string operation. HDATE date). SAL = SAL +1000 where ENAME = ’JONES’. . Typically. An expression consists of either a constant (new value).30). Explanation: The query retrieves the minimum salary of all managers. 10 . This value then is assigned to all salesmen working in department 20.4.2 Updates For modifying attribute values of (some) tuples in a table. . Examples: • The employee JONES is transfered to the department 20 as a manager and his salary is increased by 1000: update EMP set JOB = ’MANAGER’. update EMP set SAL = (select min(SAL) from EMP where JOB = ’MANAGER’) where JOB = ’SALESMAN’ and DEPTNO = 20. . . An update statement without a where clause results in changing respective attributes of all tuples in the specified table. • All employees working in the departments 10 and 30 get a 15% salary increase. we use the update statement: update <table> set <column i> = <expression i>. update EMP set SAL = SAL ∗ 1.15 where DEPTNO in (10.create table OLDEMP ( ENO number(4) not null. DEPTNO = 20. however. only a (small) portion of the table requires an update. 1. or an SQL query. We now can use the table EMP to insert tuples into this new relation: insert into OLDEMP (ENO. other tables can be used to retrieve data that are used as new values. Analogous to the insert statement. Example: All salesmen working in the department 20 get the same salary as the manager who has the lowest salary among all managers. Note that the new value to assign to <column i> must a the matching data type. HDATE) select EMPNO. In such a case we have a <query> instead of an <expression>.

has been issued. is called a transaction. A commit is also implicitly executed when the user terminates an Oracle session.4..It is also possible to specify a query that retrieves more than only one value (but still only one tuple!). conditions in a where were restricted to simple comparisons. As long as the user has not issued the commit statement. . A major feature of relational databases.e. . one has to issue the statement rollback. i.3 Deletions All or selected tuples can be deleted from a table using the delete command: delete from <table> [where <condition>]. 1.5 Queries (Part II) In Section 1. update. and delete statements.4. It is important that the order of data types and values of the selected row exactly correspond to the list of columns in the set clause. it is possible to undo all modifications since the last commit. 1. They become permanent only after the statement commit. However. Furthermore. Modifications of tuples are temporarily stored in the database system. An alternative command for deleting all tuples from a table is the truncate table <table> command. a sequence of insert. which returns the name of the user logged into the current Oracle session. Example: Delete all projects (tuples) that have been finished before the actual date (system date): delete from PROJECT where PEND < sysdate. in this case. In this case the set clause has the form set(<column i. To undo modifications. It is advisable to complete each modification of the database with a commit (as long as the modification has the expected effect).4 Commit and Rollback A sequence of database modifications. sysdate is a function in SQL that returns the system date. If the where clause is omitted. In SQL the select statement is used for this kind of queries joining relations: 11 .4. is to combine (join) tuples stored in different tables in order to display more meaningful and complete information. . column j>) = <query>.2 we have only focused on queries that refer to exactly one table. the deletions cannot be undone (see subsequent Section 1. .. all tuples are deleted from the table. however. Another important SQL function is user. Note that any data definition command such as create table results in an internal commit. 1.4).

DEPT D where E. retrieve its name.DEPTNO = D.DEPTNO.5. . Any number of tables can be combined in a select statement. <table n> [<alias an >] [where <condition>] The specification of table aliases in the from clause is necessary to refer to columns that have the same name in different tables. . For each salesman.MGR and D. [distinct] [<alias ak >. we thus get n ∗ m rows. Example: For each project. DEPT D. If EMP contains m rows and DEPT contains n rows. If we want to refer to either of these columns in the where or select clause. 12 . . DNAME from EMP E. not their name.DEPTNO. . a table alias has to be specified and put in the front of the column name. respectively. .1 Joining Relations Comparisons in the where clause are used to combine rows from the tables listed in the from clause.DEPTNO and JOB = ’SALESMAN’. Instead of a table alias also the complete relation name can be put in front of the column such as DEPT. 1. From this result finally all rows are selected for which the condition JOB = ’SALESMAN’ holds.DEPTNO. Each row from the table EMP is combined with each row from the table DEPT (this operation is called Cartesian product). Explanation: E and D are table aliases for EMP and DEPT.]<column j> from <table 1> [<alias a1 >]. and the name of the department where the manager is working: select ENAME. The computation of the query result occurs in the following manner (without optimization): 1.DEPTNO). [<alias al >. In this example the joining condition for the two tables is based on the equality operator “=”. Example: In the table EMP only the numbers of the departments are stored. PROJECT P where E.DEPTNO = E. DNAME.EMPNO = P. For example.DEPTNO = D. PNAME from EMP E. The columns compared by this operator are called join columns and the join operation is called an equijoin. 3. . E. the column DEPTNO occurs in both EMP and DEPT. From these rows those that have the same department number are selected (where E. we now want to retrieve the name as well as the number and the name of the department where he is working: select ENAME.]<column i>. . the name of its manager. . but this sometimes can lead to rather lengthy query formulations.

e. Explanation: The subquery retrieves the set of those employees who manage a project that started before December 31.2 Subqueries Up to now we have only concentrated on simple comparison conditions in a where clause. Explanation: The join columns are MGR for the table E1 and EMPNO for the table E2.ENAME. Example: List the name and salary of employees of the department 20 who are leading a project that started before December 31. i. this tuple belongs to the query result set. Example: List all employees who are working in a department located in BOSTON: 13 . SAL from EMP where EMPNO in (select PMGR from PROJECT where PSTART < ’31-DEC-90’) and DEPTNO =20.MGR = E2. 1990. we have compared a column with a constant or we have compared two columns.EMPNO.EMPNO. queries can be used for assignments to columns. E2. 1990: select ENAME.ENAME from EMP E1. The equijoin comparison is E1. A query result can also be used in a condition of a where clause. Test for (non)existence [not] exists (<subquery>) In a where clause conditions using subqueries can be combined arbitrarily by using the logical connectives and and or.It is even possible to join a table with itself: Example: List the names of all employees together with the name of their manager: select E1.5. If the employee working in department 20 is contained in this set (in operator). 2. EMP E2 where E1. As we have already seen for the insert statement. 1.MGR = E2. Set-valued subqueries <expression> [not] in (<subquery>) <expression> <comparison operator> [any|all] (<subquery>) An <expression> can either be a column or a computed value. A respective condition in the where clause then can have one of the following forms: 1. In such a case the query is called a subquery and the complete select statement is called a nested query..

respectively. this tuple is selected. The subquery retrieves only one value (the number of the department located in Boston). An important class of subqueries are those that refer to its surrounding (sub)query and the tables listed in the from clause. the condition evaluates to true if there exists at least on row selected by the subquery for which the comparison holds. whether it is a single value or a set. i. the condition is not satisfied.. . In this case the condition evaluates to true if the subquery does not yield any row or value. Such type of queries is called correlated subqueries.MGR). the condition evaluates to true if for all rows selected by the subquery the comparison holds. evaluates to true. As long as the result of a subquery is not known in advance.MGR. Example: Retrieve all employees who are working in department 10 and who earn at least as much as any (i. the subquery is evaluated individually. One can think of the evaluation of this query as follows: For each tuple in the table ∗ from EMP where DEPTNO in (select DEPTNO from DEPT where LOC = ’BOSTON’).e. Explanation: The subquery in this example is related to its surrounding query since it refers to the column E1. A tuple is selected from the table EMP (E1) for the query result if the value for the column DEPTNO occurs in the set of values select in the subquery. Thus it is possible to use “=” instead of in. Example: List all those employees who are working in the same department as their manager (note that components in [ ] are optional: select ∗ from EMP E1 where DEPTNO in (select DEPTNO from EMP [E] where [E. 14 .]EMPNO = E1. . Note that an alias for the table EMP in the subquery is not necessary since columns without a preceding alias listed there always refer to the innermost query and tables.e. If the condition where DEPTNO in .. • For the clause all. A subquery may use again a subquery in its where clause. • For the clause any. in contrast. Thus conditions can be nested arbitrarily. it is advisable to use the in operator. Conditions of the form <expression> <comparison operator> [any|all] <subquery> are used to compare a given <expression> with each value selected by <subquery>. at least one) employee working in department 30: select ∗ from EMP where SAL >= any (select SAL from EMP where DEPTNO = 30) and DEPTNO = 10. If the subquery yields an empty result set.

• minus returns those rows that appear in the result of <query 1> but not in the result of <query 2>.5. the tuple is not selected. Example: List all departments that have no employees: select ∗ from DEPT where not exists (select ∗ from EMP where DEPTNO = DEPT. Duplicates are automatically eliminated unless the clause all is used. • intersect returns all rows that appear in both results <query 1> and <query 2>. Explanation: For each tuple from the table DEPT. For all and any.DEPTNO). If there exists a corresponding tuple in the table EMP. Such type of queries is formulated using the exists operator.DEPTNO). SQL supports three set operators which have the pattern: <query 1> <set operator> <query 2> The set operators are: • union [all] returns a table consisting of all rows either appearing in the result of <query 1> or in the result of <query 2>. the following equivalences hold: in ⇔ = any not in ⇔ <> all or != all Often a query result depends on whether certain rows do (not) exist in (other) tables. the condition is satisfied for the tuple under consideration and it is selected. the condition is checked whether there exists a tuple in the table EMP that has the same department number (DEPT. 15 . Example: List all employees who are not working in department 30 and who earn more than all employees working in department 30: select ∗ from EMP where SAL > all (select SAL from EMP where DEPTNO = 30) and DEPTNO <> 30.Note: Also in this subquery no aliases are necessary since the columns refer to the innermost from clause. 1. In case no such tuple exists.3 Operations on Result Sets Sometimes it is useful to combine query results from two or more queries into a single result.

we want to retrieve the minimum and maximum salary. ENAME from EMP union select EMPNO.5. Those rows retrieved by the selected clause that have the same value(s) for <group column(s)> are grouped. • Employees who are listed in both EMP and EMP2: select ∗ from EMP intersect select ∗ from EMP2. This clause appears after the where clause and must refer to columns of tables listed in the from clause.Example: Assume that we have a table EMP2 that has the same structure and columns as the table EMP: • All employee numbers and names from both tables: select EMPNO. For this. Each operator requires that both tables have the same data types for the columns to which the operator is applied. max(SAL) from EMP group by DEPTNO. Aggregations specified in the select clause are then applied to each group separately.4 Grouping In Section 1. Often applications require grouping rows that have certain properties and then applying an aggregate function on one column for each group separately.4 we have seen how aggregate functions can be used to compute a single value for a column. SQL provides the clause group by <group column(s)>.2. select DEPTNO. select <column(s)> from <table(s)> where <condition> group by <group column(s)> [having <group condition(s)>]. The aggregate functions are then applied to each such group. 1. min(SAL). ENAME from EMP2. We thus get the following query result: 16 . Rows from the table EMP are grouped such that all rows in a group have the same department number. It is important that only those columns that appear in the <group column(s)> clause can be listed without an aggregate function in the select clause ! Example: For each department. • Employees who are only listed in EMP: select ∗ from EMP minus select ∗ from EMP2.

Note that is not allowed to specify any other column than DEPTNO without an aggregate function in the select clause since this is the only column listed in the group by clause (is it also easy to see that other columns would not make any sense). she/he can refer to these tables in her/his queries. Select all rows that satisfy the condition specified in the where clause.DEPTNO 10 20 30 MIN(SAL) 1300 800 950 MAX(SAL) 5000 3000 2850 Rows to form a group can be restricted in the where clause. select DEPTNO.g. This table can be accessed by other (privileged) users using the command select ∗ from <user>.<table>. Discard all groups that do not satisfy the condition in the having clause. min(SAL).5. For example. 1. Apply aggregate functions to each group. Let <user> be a user in the Oracle system and <table> a table of this user. max(SAL) from EMP where JOB = ’CLERK’ group by DEPTNO having count(∗) > 3.. This type of condition is specified using the having clause. if a group contains less than three rows. Once groups have been formed. The query then would retrieve the minimum and maximum salary of all clerks for each department. 17 . instead of the constant 3. 2. a subquery can be specified. Example: Retrieve the minimum and maximum salary of clerks for each department having more than three clerks.5 Some Comments on Tables Accessing tables of other users Provided that a user has the privilege to access tables of other users (see also Section 3). A query containing a group by clause is processed in the following way: 1. certain groups can be eliminated based on their properties. 5. if we add the condition where JOB = ’CLERK’. As for the select clause also in a having clause only <group column(s)> and aggregations can be used. 3. e. 4. Retrieve values for the columns and aggregations listed in the select clause. for example. only respective rows build a group. From these rows form groups according to the group by clause. In the above query. Note that it is even possible to specify a subquery in a having clause.

too. it is useful to use a synonym instead of <user>. In the most recent version (9i). Adding Comments to Definitions For applications that include numerous tables. Deleting a Table A table and its rows can be deleted by issuing the command drop table <table> [cascade constraints]. it is not possible to rename tables or columns. it is possible to rename a table.. A table constraint can be added to a table using alter table <table> add (<table constraint>). A workaround is to create a temporary table and to copy respective columns and rows into this new table. Modifying Table. They can be accessed using the data dictionary views USER TAB COMMENTS and USER COL COMMENTS (see also Section 3). If more than only one column should be added at one time.In case that one often refers to tables of other users. It is then possible to use simply <name> in a from clause. In this version. 18 .<column> is ’<text>’.<table>. it is useful to add comments on table definitions or to add comments on columns. there also exists a drop column clause as part of the alter table statement. using the alter table command.<table> . The syntax of the command for modifying a column is alter table <table> modify(<column> [<data type>] [default <value>] [<column constraint>]). Note that a column constraint is a table constraint. Note: In earlier versions of Oracle it is not possible to delete single columns from a table definition. and constraints. Comments on tables and columns are stored in the data dictionary. A comment on a column can be created using the command comment on column <table>. A column can be added using the alter table command alter table <table> add(<column> <data type> [default <value>] [<column constraint>]). not null and primary key constraints can only be added to a table if none of the specified columns contains a null value.g. when the size of strings that can be stored needs to be increased. e. Furthermore. In Oracle-SQL a synonym can be created using the command create synonym <name> for <user>. Table definitions can be modified in an analogous way. respective add clauses need to be separated by colons. columns.and Column Definitions It is possible to modify the structure of a table (the relation schema) even if rows have already been inserted into this table. Synonyms can also be created for one’s own tables. This is useful. A comment on a table can be created using the command comment on table <table> is ’<text>’..

SAL∗12 ANNUAL SALARY from EMP where DEPTNO = 20. • set-valued subqueries (in. these rows would not be selected based on the select statement. the columns of the view get the same names as the attributes listed in the select statement (if possible). If <column(s)> is not specified in the view definition. In Oracle SQL no insert. ANNUAL SALARY) as select ENAME. 19 . SAL ∗ 12 from EMP where DEPTNO = 20. An alternative formulation of the above view definition is create view DEPT20 (ENAME. JOB. max etc. A with check option can be named using the constraint clause. min. but derived on basis of the select statement in the view definition). JOB. any. <column(s)> names the columns of the view. or rows can even be modified. JOB. In the select statement the column alias ANNUAL SALARY is specified for the expression SAL∗12 and this alias is taken by the view. A view is evaluated again each time it is accessed. or delete modifications on views are allowed that use one of the following constructs in the view definition: • Joins • Aggregate function such as sum..1. A view can be deleted using the command delete <view-name>. that is. Example: The following view contains the name. rows can be retrieved from a view (also respective rows are not physically stored. all) or test for existence (exists) • group by clause or distinct clause In combination with the clause with check option any update or insertion of a row into the view is rejected if the new/modified row does not meet the view definition.6 Views In Oracle the SQL command to create a view (virtual table) has the form create [or replace] view <view-name> [(<column(s)>)] as <select-statement> [with check option [constraint <name>]]. The optional clause or replace re-creates the view if it already exists.e. update. job title and the annual salary of employees working in the department 20: create view DEPT20 as select ENAME. A view can be used in the same way as a table. i.

0 . Queries can be parameterized such that it is possible to invoke a saved query with a parameter. ORACLE HOME=/usr/pkg/oracle/734 • ORACLE SID. SQL*Plus then displays some information about the product. ORACLE SID=prod In order to invoke SQL*Plus from a UNIX shell.1 .Production SQL> 20 All rights reserved. • SQL*Plus provides an online-help.Production Release With the distributed option PL/SQL Release 2. the command sqlplus has to be issued.. e.g. 1996.2 SQL*Plus Introduction SQL*Plus is the interactive (low-level) user interface to the Oracle database management system. e.4. gertz(catbert)54: sqlplus SQL*Plus: Release 3. env | grep ORACLE): • ORACLE HOME. • There are numerous commands to format the output of a query.3.0. and prompts you for your user name and password for the Oracle system.4. Instead of this line editor any editor installed on the computer can be invoked. SQL*Plus is used to issue ad-hoc queries and to view the query result on the screen. Queries that are frequently issued can be saved to a file and invoked later.Production on Sun Dec 20 19:16:52 1998 Copyright (c) Oracle Corporation 1979. . Some of the features of SQL*Plus are: • A built-in command line editor can be used to edit (incorrect) SQL queries. Typically. e.3.g. Enter user-name: scott Enter password: Connected to: Oracle7 Server Release 7. • Query results can be stored in files which then can be printed. A Minimal User Guide Before you start SQL*Plus make sure that the following UNIX shell variables are properly set (shell variables can be checked using the env command.0.g.3..1 .0.4.

host ls -la *.). in Oracle Version 7 the command alter user <user> identified by <new password>. Upper and lower case letters are only important for string comparisons. or jove. SQL*Plus Help System and Other Useful Commands • To get the online help in SQL*Plus just type help <command>.sql lists all SQL files in the current directory. To exit SQL*Plus you can either type exit or quit. • To change the password. • l<number> sets the actual line to <number> • c[hange]/<old string>/<new string> replaces the first occurrence of <old string> by <new string> (for the actual line) • a[ppend]<string> appends <string> to the current line • del deletes the current line • r[un] executes the current buffer contents • get<file> reads the data from the file <file> into the buffer • save<file> writes the current buffer into the file <file> • edit invokes an editor and loads the current buffer into the editor. Editor Commands The most recently issued SQL statement is stored in the SQL buffer. In SQL*Plus you can divide a statement into separate lines. In Oracle Version 8 the command passw <user> prompts the user for the old/new password. joe.SQL> is the prompt you get when you are connected to the Oracle database system. or just help to get information about how to use the help command. 3> etc. You can edit the buffer using the following commands: • l[ist] lists all lines in the SQL buffer and sets the current line (marked with an ”∗”) to the last line in the buffer. An SQL statement must always be terminated by a semicolon (. These commands need not be terminated by a semicolon. • The command desc[ribe] <table> lists all columns of the given table together with their data types and information about whether null values are allowed or not. An SQL query can always be interrupted by using <Control>C. • You can invoke a UNIX command from the SQL*Plus shell by using host <UNIX command>. where <name> can be any editor such as emacs. After exiting the editor the modified SQL statement is stored in the buffer and can be executed (command r). The editor can be defined in the SQL*Plus shell by typing the command define editor = <name>. 21 . each continuing line is indicated by a prompt such 2>. For example. vi. SQL*Plus provides some special SQL*Plus commands. independent of whether the statement has a correct syntax or not. In Oracle Version 7 one can get the complete list of possible commands by typing help command. In addition to the SQL statements discussed in the previous section. is used.

• You can log your SQL*Plus session and thus queries and query results by using the command spool <file>. All information displayed on screen is then stored in <file> which automatically gets the extension .lst. The command spool off turns spooling off. • The command copy can be used to copy a complete table. For example, the command copy from scott/tiger create EMPL using select ∗ from EMP; copies the table EMP of the user scott with password tiger into the relation EMPL. The relation EMP is automatically created and its structure is derived based on the attributes listed in the select clause. • SQL commands saved in a file <name>.sql can be loaded into SQL*Plus and executed using the command @<name>. • Comments are introduced by the clause rem[ark] (only allowed between SQL statements), or - - (allowed within SQL statements).

Formatting the Output
SQL*Plus provides numerous commands to format query results and to build simple reports. For this, format variables are set and these settings are only valid during the SQL*Plus session. They get lost after terminating SQL*Plus. It is, however, possible to save settings in a file named login.sql in your home directory. Each time you invoke SQL*Plus this file is automatically loaded. The command column <column name> <option 1> <option 2> . . . is used to format columns of your query result. The most frequently used options are: • format A<n> For alphanumeric data, this option sets the length of <column name> to <n>. For columns having the data type number, the format command can be used to specify the format before and after the decimal point. For example, format 99,999.99 specifies that if a value has more than three digits in front of the decimal point, digits are separated by a colon, and only two digits are displayed after the decimal point. • The option heading <text> relabels <column name> and gives it a new heading. • null <text> is used to specify the output of null values (typically, null values are not displayed). • column <column name> clear deletes the format definitions for <column name>. The command set linesize <number> can be used to set the maximum length of a single line that can be displayed on screen. set pagesize <number> sets the total number of lines SQL*Plus displays before printing the column names and headings, respectively, of the selected rows. Several other formatting features can be enabled by setting SQL*Plus variables. The command show all displays all variables and their current values. To set a variable, type set <variable> <value>. For example, set timing on causes SQL*Plus to display timing statistics for each SQL command that is executed. set pause on [<text>] makes SQL*Plus wait for you to press Return after the number of lines defined by set pagesize has been displayed. <text> is the message SQL*Plus will display at the bottom of the screen as it waits for you to hit Return. 22


Oracle Data Dictionary

The Oracle data dictionary is one of the most important components of the Oracle DBMS. It contains all information about the structures and objects of the database such as tables, columns, users, data files etc. The data stored in the data dictionary are also often called metadata. Although it is usually the domain of database administrators (DBAs), the data dictionary is a valuable source of information for end users and developers. The data dictionary consists of two levels: the internal level contains all base tables that are used by the various DBMS software components and they are normally not accessible by end users. The external level provides numerous views on these base tables to access information about objects and structures at different levels of detail.


Data Dictionary Tables

An installation of an Oracle database always includes the creation of three standard Oracle users: • SYS: This is the owner of all data dictionary tables and views. This user has the highest privileges to manage objects and structures of an Oracle database such as creating new users. • SYSTEM: is the owner of tables used by different tools such SQL*Forms, SQL*Reports etc. This user has less privileges than SYS. • PUBLIC: This is a “dummy” user in an Oracle database. All privileges assigned to this user are automatically assigned to all users known in the database. The tables and views provided by the data dictionary contain information about • users and their privileges, • tables, table columns and their data types, integrity constraints, indexes, • statistics about tables and indexes used by the optimizer, • privileges granted on database objects, • storage structures of the database. The SQL command select ∗ from DICT[IONARY]; lists all tables and views of the data dictionary that are accessible to the user. The selected information includes the name and a short description of each table and view. Before issuing this query, check the column definitions of DICT[IONARY] using desc DICT[IONARY] and set the appropriate values for column using the format command. The query select ∗ from TAB; retrieves the names of all tables owned by the user who issues this command. The query select ∗ from COL; 23

returns all information about the columns of one’s own tables. Each SQL query requires various internal accesses to the tables and views of the data dictionary. Since the data dictionary itself consists of tables, Oracle has to generate numerous SQL statements to check whether the SQL command issued by a user is correct and can be executed. Example: The SQL query select ∗ from EMP where SAL > 2000; requires a verification whether (1) the table EMP exists, (2) the user has the privilege to access this table, (3) the column SAL is defined for this table etc.


Data Dictionary Views

The external level of the data dictionary provides users a front end to access information relevant to the users. This level provides numerous views (in Oracle7 approximately 540) that represent (a portion of the) data from the base tables in a readable and understandable manner. These views can be used in SQL queries just like normal tables. The views provided by the data dictionary are divided into three groups: USER, ALL, and DBA. The group name builds the prefix for each view name. For some views, there are associated synonyms as given in brackets below. • USER : Tuples in the USER views contain information about objects owned by the account performing the SQL query (current user) USER TABLES all tables with their name, number of columns, storage information, statistical information etc. (TABS) USER CATALOG tables, views, and synonyms (CAT) USER COL COMMENTS comments on columns USER CONSTRAINTS constraint definitions for tables USER INDEXES all information about indexes created for tables (IND) USER OBJECTS all database objects owned by the user (OBJ) USER TAB COLUMNS columns of the tables and views owned by the user (COLS) USER TAB COMMENTS comments on tables and views USER TRIGGERS triggers defined by the user USER USERS information about the current user USER VIEWS views defined by the user • ALL : Rows in the ALL views include rows of the USER views and all information about objects that are accessible to the current user. The structure of these views is analogous to the structure of the USER views.


. and synonyms ALL TABLES owner and name of all accessible tables ALL OBJECTS owner. • DBA : The DBA views encompass information about all database objects.. Only users with DBA privileges can access these views. ALL USERS . name and type of all accessible tables.ALL CATALOG owner. . views. views. type. . regardless of the owner. DBA DBA DBA DBA DBA TABLES CATALOG OBJECTS DATA FILES USERS tables of all users in the database tables. and name of accessible database objects ALL TRIGGERS . and synonyms defined in the database object of all users information about data files information about all users known in the database 25 ... ALL VIEWS .

Oracle offers several predefined packages. however. one tuple at a time. PL/SQL blocks that specify procedures and functions can be grouped into packages. For this. for example. A major restriction of the database language SQL. Another important feature of PL/SQL is that it offers a mechanism to process query results in a tuple-oriented way. These constructs are necessary in order to implement complex data structures and algorithms.1. condition statements (if-then-else). A cursor basically is a pointer to a query result and is used to read attribute values of selected tuples into variables. control structures (loops). A package is similar to a module and has an interface and an implementation part. The basic construct in PL/SQL is a block. the major goals of PL/SQL are to • increase the expressiveness of SQL.1 Application Programming PL/SQL Introduction The development of database applications typically requires language constructs similar to those that can be found in programming languages such as C. and variables can be used to store query results. Statements in a PL/SQL block include SQL statements. • develop modular database application programs. In a block. Blocks allow designers to combine logically related (SQL-) statements into units. functions. A cursor typically is used in combination with a loop construct such that each tuple read by the cursor can be processed individually. C++. is that many tasks cannot be accomplished by using only the provided language elements. • process query results in a tuple-oriented way. cursors are used. exception handling. and • reduce the cost for maintaining and changing applications. and calls of other PL/SQL blocks. input/output routines. file handling. In summary. 26 . job scheduling etc. constants and variables can be declared. PL/SQL (Procedural Language/SQL) is a procedural extension of Oracle-SQL that offers language constructs similar to those in imperative programming languages. PL/SQL allows users and designers to develop complex database applications that require the usage of control structures and procedural elements such as procedures. that is. (see directory $ORACLE HOME/rdbms/admin).1 4. • optimize combined SQL statements. and modules. • reuse program code.4 4. or Pascal.

A PL/SQL block has an optional declare section. If no expression is specified. /* constant */ 27 . <expression> is used to initialize a variable. and exceptions used in a PL/SQL block must be declared in the declare section of that block. Thus the structure of a PL/SQL looks as follows (brackets [ ] enclose optional parts): [<Block header>] [declare <Constants> <Variables> <Cursors> <User defined exceptions>] begin <PL/SQL statements> [exception <Exception handling>] end. The not null clause requires that the declared variable must always have a value different from null. the value cannot be changed (thus the variable becomes a constant).. or a package. boolean. Thus blocks can be nested like blocks in conventional programming languages. begin . and blocks can be nested. the part of the program in which one can refer to the variable) is analogous to the scope of variables in programming languages such as C or Pascal.3 Declarations Constants. false. a function. a part containing PL/SQL statements.5. end.2) := 1. the block is said to be an anonymous PL/SQL block.. Example: declare hire date job title emp found salary incr . Variables and constants can be declared as follows: <variable name> [constant] <data type> [not null] [:= <expression>].4. 4. or null. cursors. Blocks that build a procedure. . variables. . and an optional exception-handling part.1. date. the value null is assigned to the variable. Valid data types are SQL data types (see Section 1. The scope of declared variables (i..2 Structure of PL/SQL-Blocks PL/SQL is a block-structured language. Boolean data may only be true.1) and the data type boolean.e. /* implicit initialization with null */ varchar2(80) := ’Salesman’. If no header is specified. Each PL/SQL block again builds a PL/SQL statement. The clause constant states that once a value has been assigned to the variable. or a package must be named. The block header specifies whether the PL/SQL block is a procedure.1. a function. Each block builds a (named) program unit. /* implicit initialization with null */ constant number(3.

For example. one can also refer to the data type of a table column (so-called anchored declaration). PL/SQL provides special packages. 28 . Some exceptions are internally defined. User defined exceptions need to be declared using <name of exception> exception. varchar2. date and boolean as well as corresponding subtypes such as integer.e.MGR = EMPNO and DEPTNO = dno). Possible parameter types are char. ENAME from EMP E where HIREDATE > start date and exists (select ∗ from EMP where E. Other exceptions can be specified by the user at the end of a PL/SQL block. dno number) is select JOB.1. Such records are typically used in combination with a cursor. and cursors. Parameters are used to assign values to the variables that are given in the select statement. and who have a manager working in a given department. We discuss the usage of cursors in more detail below. A cursor declaration has the form cursor <cursor name> [(<list of parameters>)] is <select statement>. etc. A field in a record can be accessed using <record name>. A cursor declaration specifies a set of tuples (as a query result) such that the tuples can be processed in a tuple-oriented way (i. If (some) tuples selected by the cursor will be modified in the PL/SQL block. cursor employee cur (start date date. number. the data type DEPT%ROWTYPE specifies a record suitable to store all attribute values of a complete row from the table DEPT. constants.Instead of specifying a data type. The cursor name is an undeclared identifier. procedure and function calls.5 4. EMP.. not the name of any PL/SQL variable. PL/SQL offers various language constructs such as variable assignments. if-then-else). DEPT.<column name>. For example.Deptno. PL/SQL does not allow commands of the SQL data definition language such as the create table statement.Empno%TYPE refers to the data type of the column Empno in the relation EMP. one tuple at a time) using the fetch statement. Instead of a single variable. We will discuss exception handling in more detail in Section 4. the cursor must be opened.1. for example. and after processing the selected tuples the cursor must be closed. Example: We want to retrieve the following attribute values from the table EMP in a tupleoriented way: the job title and name of those employees who have been hired after a given date. such as ZERO DIVIDE. For this.4 Language Elements In addition to the declaration of variables. a record can be declared that can store a complete tuple from a given table (or query result). the clause for update[(<column(s)>)] has to be added at the end of the cursor declaration. Exceptions are used to process errors and warnings that occur during the execution of PL/SQL statements in a controlled manner. In this case selected tuples are locked and cannot be accessed by other users until a commit has been issued. However. A parameter has the form <parameter name> <parameter type>. control structures (loops. Before a declared cursor can be used in PL/SQL statements.

29 .Furthermore. For most data types. and continuous loops. end. DEPTNO into employee rec from EMP where EMPNO = 5698. Latter ones are used in combination with cursors. Furthermore. a record can be given after the keyword into.SAL%TYPE. end loop [<label name>] . PL/SQL uses a modified select statement that requires each selected tuple to be assigned to a record (or a list of variables). . two types of for-loops. If the select statement retrieves more than one tuple. It is important to ensure that the select statement retrieves at most one tuple ! Otherwise it is not possible to assign the attribute values to the specified list of variables and a runtime error occurs. .. A while-loop has the pattern [<< <label name> >>] while <condition> loop <sequence of statements>. All types of loops are used to execute a sequence of statements multiple times.. PL/SQL performs an automatic type conversion (e. Values to assign to a variable can also be retrieved from the database using a select statement select <column(s)> into <matching list of variables> from <table(s)> where <condition>.g. begin counter := counter + 1. There are several alternatives in PL/SQL to a assign a value to a variable. ENAME. the data types of the specified variables must match those of the retrieved attribute values.. The specification of loops occurs in the same way as known from imperative programming languages such as C or Pascal. Also in this case. MGR. SAL. the select statement must retrieve at most one tuple ! declare employee rec EMP%ROWTYPE. begin select EMPNO. PL/SQL provides while-loops. select max(SAL) into max sal from EMP. from integer to real). a cursor must be used instead. The most simple way to assign a value to a variable is declare counter integer := 0. COMM. JOB... max sal EMP. Instead of a list of single variables. HIREDATE.

<index> may appear in expressions. emp rec EMP%ROWTYPE. it must be opened using the open statement open <cursor name> [(<list of parameters>)] . end.. <sequence of statements> end loop. The fetch command assigns the selected attribute values of the current tuple to the list of variables.SAL%TYPE. emp sal := emp rec. the close command is used to disable the cursor. Note that the variables in the list must have the same data types as the selected values. the number of iterations through the for loop can be specified using two integers. close emp cur.A loop can be named. . Naming a loop is useful whenever loops are nested and inner loops are completed unconditionally using the exit <label name>. begin open emp cur.. Whereas the number of iterations through a while loop is unknown until the loop completes. close <cursor name>.. After all tuples have been processed. Inside the for loop. It overrides the scope of any variable having the same name outside the loop.<upper bound> loop <sequence of statements> end loop [<label name>] . 30 . The associated select statement then is processed and the cursor references the first selected tuple. [<< <label name> >>] for <index> in [reverse] <lower bound>. <index> can be referenced like a constant. exit when emp cur%NOTFOUND. but one cannot assign a value to <index>. Selected tuples then can be processed one tuple at a time using the fetch command fetch <cursor name> into <list of variables>. The loop counter <index> is declared implicitly. The example below illustrates how a cursor is used together with a continuous loop: declare cursor emp cur is select ∗ from EMP. Using the keyword reverse causes the iteration to proceed downwards from the higher bound to the lower bound. Processing Cursors: Before a cursor can be used. the cursor advances to the next tuple in the result set. After the fetch command. loop fetch emp cur into emp rec. emp sal EMP. The scope of the loop counter is only the for loop.sal. statement.

%NOTFOUND is a predicate that evaluates to false if the most recent fetch command has read a tuple. A record suitable to store a tuple fetched by the cursor is implicitly declared. [else] <sequence of statements> end if . Thus. Furthermore. 31 .. A condition can be a simple comparison of values. The value of <cursor name>%NOTFOUND is null before the first tuple is fetched. end loop. If at an iteration no tuple has been fetched. the loop is automatically terminated without an exit. For conditional control.. a cursor needs not be specified before the loop is entered. are not necessary if only attributes are selected.Each loop can be completed unconditionally using the exit clause: exit [<block label>] [when <condition>] Using exit without a block label causes the completion of the loop that contains the exit statement. That is.. then contains only one entry which can be accessed using sal rec. Cursor for loops can be used to simplify the usage of a cursor: [<< <label name> >>] for <record name> in <cursor name>[(<list of parameters>)] loop <sequence of statements> end loop [<label name>]. The predicate evaluates to true if the most recent fetch failed to return a tuple. that is. and false otherwise. of course. The record sal rec. It is even possible to specify a query instead of <cursor name> in a for loop: for <record name> in (<select statement>) loop <sequence of statements> end Aliases. Example: for sal rec in (select SAL + COMM total from EMP) loop .. however. if the select statement contains no arithmetic operators or aggregate functions. %FOUND is the logical opposite of %NOTFOUND. the condition refers to a cursor. this loop implicitly performs a fetch at each iteration as well as an open before the loop is entered and a close after the loop is left. In most cases. but is defined in the select statement. In the example above.. which is implicitly defined. PL/SQL offers if-then-else constructs of the pattern if <condition> then <sequence of statements> [elsif ] <condition> then <sequence of statements> . total is an alias for the expression computed in the select statement. at each iteration only one tuple is fetched.

commit. selected attribute values can only be assigned to variables (unless the select statement is used in a subquery). and commit. Remark: Note that the record emp rec is implicitly defined. One can distinguish between two types of exceptions: • system defined exceptions • user defined exceptions (which must be declared by the user in the declaration part of a block where the exception is used/implemented) 32 . end loop.e. its corresponding sequence of statements is executed.05 where current of emp cur.Starting with the first condition. If update or delete statements are used in combination with a cursor. We will discuss another version of this block using parameters in Section 4.5 Exception Handling A PL/SQL block may contain statements that specify exception handling routines. declare manager EMP. begin select EMPNO into manager from EMP where ENAME = ’KING’. if a condition yields true. in particular delete. all types of SQL statements can be used in PL/SQL blocks. 4.1.sal ∗ 1. The usage of select statements as in SQL leads to a syntax error. cursor emp cur (mgr no number) is select SAL from EMP where MGR = mgr no for update of SAL. Thus the behavior of this type of PL/SQL statement is analogous to if-then-else statements in imperative programming languages. Example: The following PL/SQL block performs the following modifications: All employees having ’KING’ as their manager get a 5% salary increase. Each error or warning during the execution of a PL/SQL block raises an exception.1. update. Note that in PL/SQL only select statements of the type select <column(s)> into are allowed. for emp rec in emp cur(manager) loop update EMP set SAL = emp rec. i. end.6. In these cases the clause where current of <cursor name> is added as shown in the following example. Except data definition language commands such as create table. insert. otherwise control is passed to the next condition.MGR%TYPE.. these commands can be restricted to currently fetched tuple.

commit. too high sal exception. The last when clause in the exception part may contain the exception name others. After the keyword when a list of exception names connected with or can be specified. Exception name CURSOR ALREADY OPEN INVALID CURSOR NO DATA FOUND TOO MANY ROWS ZERO DIVIDE Number Remark ORA-06511 You have tried to open a cursor which is already open ORA-01001 Invalid cursor operation such as fetching from a closed cursor ORA-01403 A select . . . emp no EMP. SAL into emp no. user defined exception handling routines are implemented.EMPNO%TYPE. This introduces the default exception handling routine. end. . if emp sal ∗ 1. The most common errors that can occur during the execution of PL/SQL programs are handled by system defined exceptions. for example.System defined exceptions are always automatically raised whenever corresponding errors or warnings occur. in contrast. begin select EMPNO.05 > 4000 then raise too high sal else update EMP set SQL . . a rollback. exception when NO DATA FOUND – – no tuple selected then rollback. The table below lists some of these exceptions with their names and a short description. must be raised explicitly in a sequence of statements using raise <exception name>. . end if . User defined exceptions. After the keyword exception at the end of a block. An implementation has the pattern when <exception name> then <sequence of statements>. . 33 . when too high sal then insert into high sal emps values(emp no). into or fetch statement returned no tuple ORA-01422 A select . into statement returned more than one tuple ORA-01476 You have tried to divide a number by 0 Example: declare emp sal EMP.SAL%TYPE. emp sal from EMP where ENAME = ’KING’.

Valid parameters include all data types. the procedure raise application error can be used. Example: if emp sal ∗ 1. for char. can be specified. <error message> is a string with a length up to 2048 characters. <error number> is a negative integer defined by the user and must range between -20000 and -20999. that is. the clause declare may not be used in procedure/function definitions. 4..05 > 4000 then raise application error(-20010. Instead of explicit data types. The syntax for a procedure definition is create [or replace] procedure <procedure name> [(<list of parameters>)] is <declarations> begin <sequence of statements> [exception <exception handling routines>] end [<procedure name>]. In contrast to anonymous PL/SQL blocks. implicit types of the form %TYPE and %ROWTYPE can be used even if constrained declarations are referenced. They can be called from other PL/SQL blocks. For example. processing the PL/SQL block terminates and all database modifications are undone. A parameter is specified as follows: <parameter name> [IN | OUT | IN OUT] <data type> [{ := | DEFAULT} <expression>] 34 .6 Procedures and Functions PL/SQL provides sophisticated language constructs to program procedures and functions as stand-alone PL/SQL blocks. other procedures and functions. If the procedure raise application error is called from a PL/SQL block. This procedure has two parameters <error number> and <message text>. A function can be specified in an analogous way create [or replace] function <function name> [(<list of parameters>)] return <data type> is . and number no length and scale. the parameter number(6) results in a compile error and must be replaced by number. varchar2. exception handling routines may contain statements that display error or warning messages on the screen. In order to display numeric variables. ’Salary increase for employee with Id ’ || to char(Emp no) || ’ is too high’). A procedure can be deleted using the command drop procedure <procedure name> (drop function <function name>). respectively. For this. The concatenation operator “||” can be used to concatenate single strings to one string. these variables must be converted to strings using the function to char.1..If a PL/SQL program is executed from the SQL*Plus shell. The optional clause or replace re-creates the procedure/function. an implicit rollback is performed in addition to displaying the error message. However.

The only difference is that a function returns a value whose data type (unconstrained) must be specified. 3). The default mode for a parameter is IN. too. . percentage number DEFAULT 0. commit. but the parameter’s value cannot be referenced. close emp cur. OUT. create procedure raise salary(dno number. Functions have the same structure as procedures. Example: The subsequent procedure is used to increase the salary of all employees who work in the department given by the procedure’s parameter. and IN OUT specify the way in which the parameter is used. end raise salary. IN means that the parameter can be referenced inside the procedure body. Example: create function get dept salary(dno number) return number is all sal number.5) is cursor emp cur (dept no number) is select SAL from EMP where DEPTNO = dept no for update of SAL. for emp sal in (select SAL from EMP where DEPTNO = dno and SAL is not null) loop 35 .Here dno is assigned to dept no loop fetch emp cur into empsal. update EMP set SAL = empsal ∗ ((100 + percentage)/100) where current of emp cur. The percentage of the salary increase is given by a parameter. begin open emp cur(dno). begin all sal := 0. the default value 0. exit when emp cur%NOTFOUND. OUT means that a value can be assigned to the parameter in the body. This procedure can be called from the SQL*Plus shell using the command execute raise salary(10. Typically. the keyword execute is omitted.5 is assumed as specified in the list of parameters in the procedure definition. end loop. it is sufficient to use the default mode for parameters.The optional clauses IN. If a procedure is called from a PL/SQL block.. empsal number(8). IN OUT allows both assigning values to the parameter and referencing the parameter. but it cannot be changed. If the procedure is called only with the parameter 10.

hiredate date. A package consists of a package specification and a package body. comm number default 0. it is necessary to first define a variable to which the return value can be assigned. Note that the colon “:” must be put in front of the variable. hiredate date. 36 . 4. PL/SQL supports the concept of modularization by which modules and other constructs can be organized into packages. In SQL*Plus a variable can be defined using the command variable <variable name> <data type>. job varchar2.all sal := all sal + emp sal. procedures. sal number. create package manage_employee as -. for example. procedure raise_sal (emp_id number. begin select emp_sequence. and functions are combined into modules. Further information about procedures and functions can be obtained using the help command in the SQL*Plus shell.and source files in the programming language C).. and the package body implements the package specification (similar to header.Insert a new employee with a new employee Id new_empno number(10). variable salary number. end get dept salary. mgr number. help subprograms. procedure fire_emp (emp_id number).nextval into new_empno from dual. sal number. return all sal. help [create] function. deptno number) return number is -.1.sal. job varchar2. deptno number) return number. The package specification defines the interface that is visible for application programmers. In order to call a function from the SQL*Plus shell. create package body manage_employee as function hire_emp (name varchar2. help stored subprograms. comm number default 0. end loop. for example. Below a package is given that is used to combine all functions and procedures to manage information about employees.package specification function hire_emp (name varchar2.7 Packages It is essential for a good programming style that logically related blocks. mgr number. sal_incr number). end manage_employee. and each module provides an interface which allows users and designers to utilize the implemented functionality. The above function then can be called using the command execute :salary := get dept salary(20).

Below some of the most important procedures of this package are listed: 37 . deptno).deletes an employee from the table EMP begin delete from emp where empno = emp_id. name. Remark: In order to compile and execute the above package. Calling such a procedure from the SQL*Plus shell requires a leading execute. end if. return new_empno.insert into emp values(new_empno. end manage_employee.<procedure name>[(<list of parameters>)]. if SQL%NOTFOUND then raise_application_error(-20012. ’Employee with Id ’ || to_char(emp_id) || ’ does not exist. procedure raise_sal(emp_id number. if SQL%NOTFOUND then -. mgr.’). sal_incr number) is -.delete statement referred to invalid emp_id raise_application_error(-20011. end fire_emp. end raise_sal. end if. ’Employee with Id ’ || to_char(emp_id) || ’ does not exist’). job. sal. it is necessary to create first the required sequence (help sequence): create sequence emp sequence start with 8000 increment by 10. hiredate. procedure fire_emp(emp_id number) is -. A procedure or function implemented in a package can be called from other procedures and functions using the statement <package name>. It is also a very useful means to debug PL/SQL programs that have been successfully compiled.modify the salary of a given employee begin update emp set sal = sal + sal_incr where empno = emp_id. comm. Oracle offers several predefined packages and procedures that can be used by database users and application developers. but do not behave as expected. A set of very useful procedures is implemented in the package DBMS OUTPUT. This package allows users to display information to their SQL*Plus session’s screen as a PL/SQL program is executed. end hire_emp.

PUT(<string>) Remark enables output disables output appends (displays) <string> to output buffer DBMS OUTPUT. try select ∗ from USER ERRORS. the output has to be enabled either using the procedure DBMS OUTPUT. where n is a number and <message text> is a short description of the error. If this command does not show any errors. More packages can be found in the directory $ORACLE HOME/rdbms/admin. Further packages provided by Oracle are UTL FILE for reading and writing files from PL/SQL programs.PUT LINE(<string>) appends <string> to output buffer and appends a new-line marker DBMS OUTPUT.NEW LINE displays a new-line marker Before strings can be displayed on the screen. It is important that the last line of the file contains a slash “/”. that is. these are displayed in the format ORA-n <message text>.8 Programming in PL/SQL Typically one uses an editor such as emacs or vi to write a PL/SQL program. The package DBMS SQL is typically used to create and delete tables from within PL/SQL programs. or package has been successfully compiled. or package etc. for example. during program execution.sql.ENABLE DBMS OUTPUT. DBMS JOB for job scheduling. 4.DISABLE DBMS OUTPUT. and DBMS SQL to generate SQL statements dynamically. The SQL*Plus command show errors [<function|procedure|package|package body|trigger> <name>] displays all compilation errors of the most recently created or altered function (or procedure.Procedure name DBMS OUTPUT.1. ORA-1001 INVALID CURSOR. If the procedure. Under the UNIX shell one can also use the command oerr ORA n to get information of the following form: error description Cause: Reason for the error Action: Suggested action 38 .) in more detail.ENABLE or using the SQL*Plus command set serveroutput on (before the procedure that produces the output is called). SQL*Plus displays the message PL/SQL procedure successfully completed. If the program contains errors. Once a program has been stored in a file <name> with the extension . it can be loaded into SQL*Plus using the command @<name>. function.

4. we base our discussion on the Oracle interface to C. 4. they are always preceded by the keywords EXEC SQL and end with a semicolon “. C++. also the first part of a Pro*C program has a declare section. data manipulation statements and simple PL/SQL blocks in simple. The linker includes the appropriate Oracle specific libraries. interactive tools such as SQL*Plus. thus requiring an easy to use programming interface to the database system. For this. data are generated and manipulated in computationally complex application programs that are written in a Third-Generation-Language (3GL). Host variables are declared according to the C syntax. occur in sophisticated engineering applications and these tasks are too complex to be handled by such an interactive tool. Since all these interfaces exhibit comparable functionalities. therefore. need an interface to the database system. such as C.2. In a Pro*C program. not on introducing the programming language C.2 Embedded SQL and Pro*C The query language constructs of SQL described in the previous sections are suited for formulating ad-hoc queries.1 General Concepts Programs written in Pro*C and which include SQL and/or PL/SQL statements are precompiled into regular C programs using a precompiler that typically comes with the database management software (precompiler package). The emphasis in this section is placed on the description of the interface. 4. Cobol. Figure 1 summarizes the steps from the source code containing SQL statements to an executable program. and which. Host variables are the key to the communication between the host program and the database. Fortran etc. called Pro*C. a majority of existing data-intensive engineering applications are written previously using an imperative programming language and now want to make use of the functionality of a database system. however.pc) recognizable by the precompiler. Many data management tasks. In order to make SQL and PL/SQL statements in a Proc*C program (having the suffix . Furthermore.2.2 Host and Communication Variables As it is the case for PL/SQL blocks. Such an interface is provided in the form of Embedded SQL. Typically. Declarations of host variables can be placed wherever normal C variable declarations can be placed. The Pro*C precompiler replaces such statements with appropriate calls to functions implemented in the SQL runtime library.”. Host variables can be of the following data types: 39 . Embedded SQL provides application programmers a suitable means to combine the computing power of a programming language with the database manipulation and management capabilities of the declarative query language SQL. in a declare section so-called host variables are specified. in the following we describe the embedding of SQL in the programming language C. an embedding of SQL into various programming languages. The resulting C program then can be compiled and linked using a normal C compiler like any other C program.

The declaration of cursors and exceptions occurs outside of such a declare section for host variables.Editor Program Development Program including SQL and PL/SQL commands (<program>. gcc or g++ executable Program C Standard−Libraries Object− Program Linker Oracle Run−Time Library Figure 1: Translation of a Pro*C Program char <Name> char <Name>[n] int float VARCHAR<Name>[n] single character array of n characters integer floating point variable length strings VARCHAR2 is converted by the Pro*C precompiler into a structure with an n-byte character array and a 2-bytes length field. 2 Note: all uppercase letters.c) C−Compiler cc. The declaration of host variables occurs in a declare section having the following pattern: EXEC SQL BEGIN DECLARE SECTION <Declaration of host variables> /* e.. */ /* e.pc) Host Program Precompiler Translates SQL and PL/SQL commands into function calls Source Program ‘pure’ C−Program including libraries (. varchar2 is not allowed! 40 . char test ok.g. VARCHAR userid[20]..h) (<program>. */ EXEC SQL END DECLARE SECTION In a Pro*C program at most one such a declare section is allowed. Note that it is not possible to use C function calls and most of the pointer expressions as host variable references. In a Pro*C program host variables referenced in SQL and PL/SQL statements must be prefixed with a colon “:”.g.

transaction should ˆ be rolled back explicitly. and has to be included after the declare section using the statement EXEC SQL INCLUDE SQLCA. /* b4 */ long sqlabc. /* ub1 */ char sqlext[8]. Typical situations are where ˆ fetch or select into returns no rows. /* ub1 */ char sqlwarn[8]. one needs to provide some status variables containing program runtime information. The structure containing the status variables is called SQL Communication Area or SQLCA. /* ub1 */ char sqlerrmc[70]. /* b4 */ long sqlcode. information about error messages as well as program status information is maintained: struct sqlca { /* ub1 */ char sqlcaid[8]. The variables are used to pass status information concerning the database access to the application program so that certain events can be handled in the program properly. for short. statement successfully completed ˆ > 0 = Statement executed and exception detected. < 0 = Statement was not executed because of an error. }. /* b4 */ long sqlerrd[6].4. The fields in this structure have the following meaning: sqlcaid Used to identify the SQLCA.H In the variables defined in this structure.2. and sqlerrmc: error message text (up to 70 characters) corresponding to the error code recorded in sqlcode sqlerrp Not used 41 . set to “SQLCA” sqlabc Holds the length of the SQLCA structure sqlcode Holds the status code of the most recently executed SQL (PL/SQL) statement 0 = No error. sqlerrm Structure with two components sqlerrml: length of the message text in sqlerrmc. struct { /* ub2 */ unsigned short sqlerrml.3 The Communication Area In addition to host language variables that are needed to pass data between the database and C program (and vice versa). } sqlerrm. /* ub1 */ char sqlerrp[8].

sqlerrd[6] not used. an error occurred • SQLWARNING: In this case sqlwarn[0] is set due to a warning • NOT FOUND: sqlcode has a positive value.. has 6 elements: sqlerrd[0].sqlerrd Array of binary integers. sqlwarn[0]: only set if other flag is set sqlwarn[1]: if truncated column value was assigned to a host variable sqlwarn[2]: null column is not used in computing an aggregate function sqlwarn[3]: number of columns in select is not equal to number of host variables specified in into sqlwarn[4]: if every tuple was processed by an update or delete statement without a where clause sqlwarn[5]: procedure/function body compilation failed because of a PL/SQL error sqlwarn[6] and sqlwarn[7]: not used sqlext not used Components of this structure can be accessed and verified during runtime. <condition> can be one of the following: • SQLERROR: sqlcode has a negative value. The complete syntax of this statement is EXEC SQL WHENEVER <condition> <action>. and appropriate handling routines (e. By using this command.g.sqlerrd[3]. and all SQL statements that have not been committed so far are rolled back 42 .2. meaning that no row was found that satisfies the where condition. sqlwarn Array with eight elements used as warning (not error!) flags.sqlerrd[1].4 Exception Handling There are two ways to check the status of your program after executable SQL statements which may result in an error or warning: (1) either by explicitly checking respective components of the SQLCA structure. exception handling) can be executed to ensure a correct behavior of the application program. 4. then the execution of the program has been successful. or a select into or fetch statement returned no rows <action> can be • STOP: the program exits with an exit() call. If at the end of the program the variable sqlcode contains a 0. sqlerrd[4] = offset specifying position of most recent parse error of SQL statement. or (2) by doing automatic error checking and handling using the WHENEVER statement. sqlerrd[2] = number of rows processed by the most recent SQL statement. that is. Flag is set by assigning it the character ‘W’. the program then automatically checks the SQLCA for <condition> and executes the given <action>. otherwise an error occurred.

Retrieving and processing individual result tuples occurs through using a PL/SQL cursor in a C while-loop.2. The database contains information about employees and departments (see the previous examples used in this tutorial).• CONTINUE: if possible.g. the embedded SQL statement EXEC SQL ROLLBACK WORK RELEASE.h> 43 . the program tries to continue with the statement following the error resulting statement • DO <function>: the program transfers processing to an error handling function named <function> • GOTO <label>: program execution branches to a labeled statement (see example) 4.6 Commit and Rollback Before a program is terminated by the c exit function and if no error occurred. 4. e. but can also be entered at program runtime using. update.2. and delete statements must be committed.2. The user has to enter a salary which then is used to retrieve all employees (from the relation EMP) who earn more than the given minimum salary.2. <Account> and <Password> can be specified in the Pro*C program. more precisely. Both <Account> and <Password> are host variables of the type VARCHAR and must be specified and handled respectively (see also the sample Pro*C program in Section 4.5 Connecting to the Database At the beginning of Pro*C program. If a program error occurred and previous non-committed database modifications need to be undone. /* Declarations */ #include <stdio. the execution of embedded SQL or PL/SQL statements. Connecting to the database occurs trough the embedded SQL statement EXEC SQL CONNECT :<Account> IDENTIFIED BY :<Password>. This is done by using the embedded SQL statement EXEC SQL COMMIT WORK RELEASE. 4. database modifications through embedded insert..h> #include <string.7).7 Sample Pro*C Program The following Pro*C program connects to the database using the database account scott/tiger. has to be specified in the respective error handling routine of the Pro*C program. the C function scanf. one has to connect to the database using a valid Oracle account and password.

arr := "TIGER" */ passwd.len=strlen(userid. /* Connect to Oracle as SCOTT/TIGER."SCOTT").#include <stdlib. VARCHAR passwd[20]. /* passwd. /* Catch errors automatically and go to error handling rountine */ EXEC SQL WHENEVER SQLERROR GOTO error. EXEC SQL ROLLBACK WORK RELEASE.arr. EXEC SQL END DECLARE SECTION. /* uid. /* userid. VARCHAR ename[15].arr). printf("Connected to ORACLE as: %s\n\n".arr).arr). /* Load SQL Communication Area */ EXEC SQL INCLUDE SQLCA.arr.ENAME. float min_sal.SAL FROM EMP 44 . VARCHAR userid[20]. &min_sal). /* Enter minimum salary by user */ printf("Please enter minimum salary > "). retval = scanf("%f". /* Exit program */ } /* Declare cursor. cannot occur in declare section! */ EXEC SQL DECLARE EMP_CUR CURSOR FOR SELECT EMPNO.H. int empno. userid."SCOTT"). if(retval != 1) { printf("Input error!!\n"). float sal. main() /* Main program */ { int retval.h> /* Declare section for host variables */ EXEC SQL BEGIN DECLARE SECTION.len := 5 */ EXEC SQL CONNECT :userid IDENTIFIED BY :passwd. Account and Password are specified explicitly */ strcpy(userid.arr := "SCOTT" */ userid. both are host variables */ /* of type VARCHAR. /* passwd.len=strlen(passwd. /* Disconnect from ORACLE */ exit(2).len := 5 */ strcpy(passwd.

sqlerrmc). exit(1).tuple */ while(sqlca. } 45 . :sal. /* Error Handling: Print error message */ error: printf("\nError: %.2f\n".sqlca.70s \n". /* get next tuple */ } EXEC SQL CLOSE EMP_CUR. :ename. /* Print Table header.ename. :ename. EXEC SQL ROLLBACK WORK RELEASE.WHERE SAL>=:min_sal. run cursor through result set */ printf("Empployee-ID Employee-Name Salary \n"). printf("-------------------------------------\n").sqlcode==0) { /* are there more tuples ? */ ename. /* "End of String" */ printf("%15d %-17s %7.sqlerrm.sal). EXEC SQL FETCH EMP_CUR INTO :empno. printf("\nDisconnected from ORACLE\n"). exit(0).len] = ’\0’.empno. /* Disconnect from database and terminate program */ EXEC SQL COMMIT WORK RELEASE. EXEC SQL FETCH EMP_CUR INTO :empno.arr[ename. EXEC SQL OPEN EMP_CUR. :sal. /* Fetch 1.arr.

. the condition can only refer that column.. Check constraints allow users to restrict possible attribute values for a column to admissible ones.1 Integrity Constraints and Triggers Integrity Constraints In Section 1 we have discussed three types of integrity constraints: not null constraints. however. can include a not null constraint: SAL number(5. or. thus only simple attribute comparisons and logical connectives such as and. In this section we introduce two more types of constraints that can be specified within the create table statement: check constraints (to restrict possible attribute values). 5. If a check constraint is specified as a table constraint.. Furthermore. <condition> can refer to all columns of the table. and not are allowed. SAL number(5. For example. the minimum salary of an employee is 500.2) constraint check sal check(SAL >= 500). and unique constraints.1 Check Constraints Often columns in a table must have values that are within a certain range or that satisfy certain conditions. the functions sysdate and user cannot be used in a condition. and the project’s start date must be before the project’s end date: 46 .1.5 5. the value null for the attribute SAL would not cause a violation of the constraint. Example: The name of an employee must consist of upper case letters only.2) constraint check sal check(SAL is not null and SAL >= 500). A check condition. primary keys. The syntax for a check constraint is [constraint <name>] check(<condition>) If a check constraint is specified as a column constraint. department numbers must range between 10 and 100: create table EMP ( . Note that only simple conditions are allowed. ENAME varchar2(30) constraint check name check(ENAME = upper(ENAME) ). DEPTNO number(3) constraint check deptno check(DEPTNO between 10 and 100) ). They can be specified as column constraints or table constraints. it is not allowed to refer to columns of other tables or to formulate queries as check conditions. Example: At least two persons must participate in a project. In principle. Without the not null condition. and foreign key constraints (to specify interdependencies between relations).

2 Foreign Key Constraints A foreign key constraint (or referential integrity constraint) can be specified as a column constraint or as a table constraint: [constraint <name>] [foreign key (<column(s)>)] references <table>[(<column(s)>)] [on delete cascade] This constraint specifies a column or a list of columns as a foreign key of the referencing table. If only the name of the parent-table is given. The referencing table is called the child-table.1.’SCOTT’. For example.’CLERK’.10). the constraint has to be specified as a table constraint.create table PROJECT ( .. The clause foreign key has to be used in addition to the clause references if the foreign key includes more than one column. In this table definition.’31-OCT-94’... constraint dates ok check(PEND > PSTART) ). PERSONS number(5) constraint check pers check (PERSONS > 2). The database system automatically checks the specified conditions each time a database modification is performed on this relation. check pers is a column constraint and dates ok is a table constraint. . In this case. the list of attributes that build the primary key of that table is assumed.7698... In other words. Example: Each employee in the table EMP must work in a department that is contained in the table DEPT: create table EMP ( EMPNO number(4) constraint pk emp primary key. The column DEPTNO of the table EMP (child-table) builds the foreign key and references the primary key of the table DEPT (parent-table). one cannot define a referential integrity constraint that refers to a table R before that table R has been created. ... causes a constraint violation ORA-02290: check constraint (CHECK SAL) violated and the insertion is rejected. 5..450.. The relationship between these two tables is illustrated in Figure 2. DEPTNO number(3) constraint fk deptno references DEPT(DEPTNO) ). Since in this table definition the referential integrity constraint includes 47 . the insertion insert into EMP values(7999. and the referenced table is called the parent-table. The clause references defines which columns of the parent-table are referenced.

at least one attribute value of the foreign key is null ) According to the above definition for the table EMP. 48 . .. an employee must not necessarily work in a department. . . . . the primary key of this relation is assumed. DEPTNO 10 10 20 20 30 foreign key DEPT (Parent−Table) DEPTNO 10 20 30 40 references primary key . .only one column. . . parent-table and child-table are identical. . . . . . Figure 2: Foreign Key Constraint between the Tables EMP and DEPT In order to satisfy a foreign key constraint. the clause foreign key is not used.. Example: Each manager must be an employee: create table EMP ( EMPNO number(4) constraint emp pk primary key.. not only a subset of the attributes that build the primary key ! EMP (Child−Table) . i. . .. . or • the attribute value of the foreign key is null (in case of a composite foreign key. . . . . It is very important that a foreign key must refer to the complete primary key of a parent-table. i.e.e. each row in the child-table has to satisfy one of the following two conditions: • the attribute value (list of attribute values) of the foreign key must appear as a primary key value in the parent-table. ). for the attribute DEPTNO the value null is admissible. . . . . . Example: Each project manager must be an employee: create table PROJECT ( PNO number(3) constraint prj pk primary key. PMGR number(4) not null constraint fk pmgr references EMP.. . ). . . A foreign key constraint may also refer to the same table. . . MGR number(4) not null constraint fk mgr references EMP.. Because only the name of the parent-table is given (DEPT). . . . . . .

3 More about Column. Besides the rowid. the name of the table.1. the clause enable is used instead of disable. If the table EMP already contains tuples that violate the constraint. EXCEPTIONS where EMP. A constraint can only be enabled successfully if no tuple in the table violates the constraint.∗.ROWID = EXCEPTIONS.ROW ID.5).and Table Constraints If a constraint is defined within the create table command or added using the alter table command (compare Section 1.5. EXCEPTIONS is a table that stores information about violating tuples. In order to identify those tuples that violate an integrity constraint whose activation failed. Before this table can be used. CONSTRAINT from EMP. A constraint can be disabled using the command alter table <table> disable constraint <name> | primary key | unique[<column(s)>] [cascade].5. the table owner as well as the name of the violated constraint are stored. Detailed information about the violating tuples can be obtained by joining the tables EMP and EXCEPTIONS. To disable a primary key. one can use the clause exceptions into EXCEPTIONS with the alter table statement. the constraint is automatically enabled. 3 49 . The clause cascade automatically disables foreign key constraints that depend on the (disabled) primary key. Otherwise an error message is displayed. Note that for enabling/disabling an integrity constraint it is important that you have named the constraints. the constraint cannot be activated and information about violating tuples is automatically inserted into the table EXCEPTIONS.sql which can be found in the directory $ORACLE HOME/rdbms/admin. Example: Disable the primary key of the table DEPT and disable the foreign key constraint in the table EMP: alter table DEPT disable primary key cascade.3 Each tuple in this table is identified by the attribute ROWID. Every tuple in a database has a pseudo-column ROWID that is used to identify tuples. Example: Assume we want to add an integrity constraint to our table EMP which requires that each manager must earn more than 4000: alter table EMP add constraint manager sal check(JOB != ’MANAGER’ or SAL >= 4000) exceptions into EXCEPTIONS. one must disable all foreign key constraints that depend on this primary key. it must be created using the SQL script utlexcept. based on the join attribute ROWID: select EMP. In order to enable an integrity constraint.

foreign keys or domain constraints. provide a procedural technique to specify and maintain integrity constraints.2.g. disabled) etc. 5. update..2) remain in the database system.. Such a procedure is associated with a table and is automatically called by the database system whenever a certain modification (event) occurs on that table. but they are not valid.2 Structure of Triggers A trigger definition consists of the following (optional) components: • trigger name create [or replace] trigger <trigger name> • trigger time point before | after • triggering event(s) insert or update [of <column(s)>] or delete on <table> • trigger type (optional) for each row • trigger restriction (only for for each row triggers !) when (<condition>) • trigger body <PL/SQL block> The clause replace re-creates a previous trigger definition having the same <trigger name>. more precisely.. see Section 5. 5. triggers. Triggers even allow users to specify more complex integrity constraints since a trigger essentially is a PL/SQL procedure. Information about integrity constraints.1 Triggers Overview The different types of integrity constraints discussed so far provide a declarative mechanism to associate “simple” conditions with a table such as a primary key. by increasing the salary of managers) such that adding the constraint can be performed successfully.2. Triggers.Tuples contained in the query result now can be modified (e. Complex integrity constraints that refer to several tables and attributes (as they are known as assertions in the SQL standard) cannot be specified within table definitions. their status (enabled. in the tables USER CONSTRAINTS and USER CONS CONSTRAINTS. Note that it is important to delete “old” violations from the relation EXCEPTIONS before it is used again. All other database objects that refer to this table (e. and delete operations (Oracle 7). If a table is used as a reference of a foreign key. The name of a trigger can be chosen arbitrarily. is stored in the data dictionary. Modifications on a table may include insert.2 5. this table can only be dropped using the command drop table <table> cascade constraints. but it is a good programming style to use 50 . in contrast.g.

When combining the different types of triggers. and for a delete trigger only :old.<column> and the new attribute value can be accessed using :new. a statement trigger is executed once after (before) the event. For an update trigger. In general.. it is advisable to use a after row trigger if the new row is not modified in the PL/SQL block. Oracle then can process 51 . Such modifications are not possible with after row triggers.. . A row level trigger is defined using the clause for each row. the trigger is executed 20 times.05 or :new. the old attribute value can be accessed using :old.g.. e. If for an update trigger no columns are specified.<column> can be used (because there exists no old. “if :old. e. In order to program triggers efficiently (and correctly) it is essential to understand the difference between a row level trigger and a statement level trigger.a trigger name that reflects the table and the event(s). the trigger is assumed to be a statement trigger. . A trigger can be invoked before or after the triggering event. Thus. events can be combined using the logical connective or. ”. In contrast. If this clause is not given. respectively.SAL < :new. :new. if the update affects 20 tuples. it is even possible to modify the new values of the row. a statement trigger is only executed once.g. for each row at a time. For example.SAL then . For an insert trigger. a row trigger with the event specification after update is executed once for each row affected by the update.g. A single event is an insert. an update.SAL.SAL ∗ 1. The triggering event specifies before (after) which operations on the table <table> the trigger is executed. new value of the tuple). A row trigger executes once for each row after (before) the event. If the trigger should only be executed when certain columns are updated.<column> refers to the attribute value of <column> of the deleted tuple.<column>. If for a row trigger the trigger time point before is specified. only :new.<column> can be used. there are twelve possible trigger configurations that can be defined for a table: event insert update delete trigger time point trigger type before after statement row X X X X X X X X X X X X Figure 3: Trigger Types Row triggers have some special features that are not provided by statement triggers: Only with a row trigger it is possible to access the attribute values of a tuple before and after the modification (because the trigger is executed once for each tuple).<column> refers to the attribute value of <column> of the inserted tuple. or a delete. independent of how many rows are affected by the event.SAL := :old. and :old. In contrast. In these cases.SAL := :new. In a row trigger thus it is possible to specify comparisons between old and new attribute values in the PL/SQL block. these columns must be specified after the event update. :new. e. the trigger is executed after (before) <table> is updated. upd ins EMP. If a trigger is used to maintain an integrity constraint. the triggering events typically correspond to the operations that can violate the integrity constraint.

EMPNO) || ’ does not exist. They can be used as shown in the following example: create or replace trigger emp check after insert or delete or update on EMP for each row begin if inserting then <PL/SQL block> end if . The only exceptions are that the functions sysdate and user can be used. i. The clause is used to further restrict when the trigger is executed. the same restrictions as for the check clause hold. and that it is possible to refer to the old/new attribute values of the actual row. 52 .<attribute> and new.SAL) || ’ to ’ to char(:new. Furthermore. In a trigger definition the when clause can only be used in combination with a for each row trigger. all modifications up to the beginning of the transaction are rolled back. raise application error can refer to old/new values of modified rows: raise application error(−20020.1. for example. All SQL and PL/SQL commands except the two statements commit and rollback can be used in a trigger’s PL/SQL block. if updating then <PL/SQL block> end if .SAL) || ’ is too high’).5). This statement causes an implicit rollback.’). In the PL/SQL block of a trigger. and (2) no declaratively specified integrity constraint is violated. if deleting then <PL/SQL block> end if .<attribute>. if updating[(’<column>’)]. Multiple triggers and modifications thus can lead to a cascading execution of triggers. For the specification of the condition in the when clause. the colon “:” must not be used. Thus. The trigger body consists of a PL/SQL block. ’Employee Id ’ || to char(:new . Such a sequence of triggers terminates successfully if (1) no exception is raised within a PL/SQL block. For this. It is important to understand that the execution of a trigger’s PL/SQL block builds a part of the transaction that contains the triggering event. an insert statement in a PL/SQL block can cause another trigger to be executed. If a trigger raises an exception in a PL/SQL block. Statement level triggers are in general only used in combination with the trigger time point after. end. In combination with a row trigger. only old. In the latter case. ’Salary increase from ’ || to char(:old. the three constructs if inserting.e.these triggers more efficiently. or raise application error(−20030. and if deleting exist.. an exception can be raised using the statement raise application error (see Section 4. additional if constructs allow to execute certain parts of the PL/SQL block depending on the triggering event.

SAL < minsal or :new. Furthermore.SAL > 1. ’More than 10% salary increase’). depending on the job title.g. maxsal SALGRADE.SAL < :old. we do not raise an exception.MAXSAL%TYPE. in case of a constraint violation.2.SAL) then raise application error(-20235. maxsal from SALGRADE where JOB = :new.JOB != ’PRESIDENT’) – – trigger restriction declare minsal. ’Salary has been decreased’). MAXSAL into minsal. but restore the old attribute values.SAL) then raise application error(-20230.. elsif (:new. 53 .SAL > maxsal) then raise application error(-20225. JOB on EMP for each row when (new. Since the above condition can be checked for each employee individually. however.sql create or replace trigger check salary EMP after insert or update of SAL. begin – – retrieve minimum and maximum salary for JOB select MINSAL. In case of a violation by an update modification. In order to maintain the complete condition we define the following trigger on the table SALGRADE. we define the following row trigger: trig1. We use an after trigger because the inserted or updated row is not changed within the PL/SQL block (e. elsif (:new. it would be possible to restore the old attribute values). Note that also modifications on the table SALGRADE can cause a constraint violation.5. ’Salary range exceeded’). – – raise an exception if (:new. end if . end.1 ∗ :old. We assume a table SALGRADE that stores the minimum (MINSAL) and maximum (MAXSAL) salary for each job title (JOB). – – If the new salary has been decreased or does not lie within the salary range. each salary must lie within a certain salary range.3 Example Triggers Suppose we have to maintain the following integrity constraint: “The salary of an employee different from the president cannot be decreased and must also not be increased more than 10%.JOB.

MAXSAL. ’ There still exist employees with the job ’ || :old. In this case a before trigger must be used to restore the old attribute values of an updated row.trig2.sql create or replace trigger check salary SALGRADE before update or delete on SALGRADE for each row when (new. if job emps != 0 then – – restore old salary ranges :new.JOB).MINSAL and :new.MAXSAL < old. end if .JOB and SAL not between :new.MINSAL or new.MINSAL.MAXSAL := :old. end. Assume the integrity constraint requires that the total of all salaries in a department must not exceed the department’s budget. 54 .MINSAL := :old. Suppose we furthermore have a column BUDGET in our table DEPT that is used to store the budget available for each department. end if . Critical operations on the relation EMP are insertions into EMP and updates on the attributes SAL or DEPTNO. if job emps != 0 then raise application error(-20240. if updating then – – Are there employees whose salary does not lie within the modified salary range ? select count(∗) into job emps from EMP where JOB = :new.MAXSAL) – – only restricting a salary range can cause a constraint violation declare job emps number(3) := 0. end if .MAXSAL.JOB. begin if deleting then – – Does there still exist an employee having the deleted job ? select count(∗) into job emps from EMP where JOB = :old. :new.MINSAL > old. end if .

DEPTNO on EMP declare cursor DEPT CUR is select DEPTNO. Oracle performs an exclusive lock on the table at the beginning of an insert.sql create or replace trigger check budget EMP after insert or update of SAL. however. BUDGET from DEPT. row triggers are the most critical type of triggers because they include several restrictions. end. ALLSAL DEPT.BUDGET%TYPE. 5. DNO DEPT. select sum(SAL) into DEPT SAL from EMP where DEPTNO = DNO. ALLSAL. close DEPT CUR. we also have to define a trigger which. ’Total of salaries in the department ’ || to char(DNO) || ’ exceeds budget’). end if . Example of an erroneous row trigger: create trigger check sal EMP after update of SAL on EMP for each row 55 . DEPT SAL number.4 Programming Triggers For programmers. In this case. the table currently modified is said to be a mutating table. can be formulated as a row trigger. In this case we use a statement trigger on the relation EMP because we have to apply an aggregate function on the salary of all employees that work in a particular department. exit when DEPT CUR%NOTFOUND.2. begin open DEPT CUR. update. end loop.<column> and :new.trig3. other users cannot access this table until modifications have been successfully completed. That is. or delete statement. if DEPT SAL > ALLSAL then raise application error(-20325.DEPTNO%TYPE.<column> in connection with a row trigger. In order to ensure read consistency. loop fetch DEPT CUR into DNO. For the relation DEPT. The only way to access a mutating table in a trigger is to use :old.

.<column> and :new.. on tables: create trigger LOG EMP after insert or update or delete on EMP begin if inserting then insert into EMP LOG values(user..<column>. While the table is being modified by the update command.1 is executed on the table EMP. e. the above trigger is executed once for each modified row. They can also be used for • Monitoring purposes. trigger may not read or modify it ORA-06512: at line 4 ORA-04088: error during execution of trigger ’CHECK_SAL_EMP’ The only way to access the table. is to use :old. ’INSERT’.. such as the monitoring of user accesses and modifications on certain sensitive tables. For example. because it is locked.g. if an update statement of the form update EMP set SAL = SAL ∗ 1. or more precisely.. end. • Logging actions. to access the modified tuple.declare sal sum number. sysdate). begin select sum(SAL) into sal sum from EMP. It is recommended to follow the rules below for the definition of integrity maintaining triggers: identify operations and tables that are critical for the integrity constraint for each such table check if constraint can be checked at row level then if checked rows are modified in trigger then use before row trigger else use after row trigger else use after statement trigger Triggers are not exclusively used for integrity maintenance. 56 . it is not possible to access all tuples of the table using the select command. In this case we get the error message ORA-04091: table EMP is mutating.

By using a row trigger.end if . a trigger can be defined that automatically transfers the manager’s employees to the new department. • automatic propagation of modifications. table. Note that the last line in the file must consist of a slash “/”. All triggers defined on a table can be (de)activated using the command alter table <Tabelle> enable | disable all trigger. 5. even the attribute values of the modified tuples can be stored in the table EMP LOG. ’UPDATE’.” in the last line. if a manager is transfered to another department.5 More about Triggers If a trigger is specified within the SQL*Plus shell. the definition must end with a point “. The command alter trigger <trigger name> disable is used to deactivate a trigger. The data dictionary stores information about triggers in the table USER TRIGGERS. type. sysdate). A trigger definition cannot be changed. the trigger automatically is enabled. end. Issuing the command run causes SQL*Plus to compile this trigger definition. end if . After a trigger definition has been successfully compiled.2. end if . if updating then insert into EMP LOG values(user. and the code for the PL/SQL block. The information includes the trigger name. The command drop <trigger name> deletes a trigger. it can only be re-created using the or replace clause. For example. sysdate). if deleting then insert into EMP LOG values(user. ’DELETE’. A trigger definition can be loaded from a file using the command @. 57 .

and storage management.4) and how database objects are created (Section 6.1 Storage Management and Processes The Oracle DBMS server is based on a so-called Multi-Server Architecture.1) and the logical and physical database structures (Sections 6.5). User 1 User 2 User 3 User n Server− Process PGA Server− Process PGA Server− Process PGA Server− Process PGA System Global Area (SGA) Redo−Log− Buffer Database Buffer Log Archive Buffer Library Cache Shared Pool Dictionary Cache Background Processes DBWR LGWR ARCH PMON SMON Datafiles Redo−Log Files Control Files Archive− and Backup Files Figure 4: Oracle System Architecture 58 . user and resource management. The server is responsible for processing all database activities such as the execution of SQL statements.3). processes. and files.2 and 6. Although there is only one copy of the program code for the DBMS server. The following figure illustrates the architecture of the Oracle DBMS consisting of storage structures. 6. We furthermore sketch how SQL statements are processed (Section 6.6 System Architecture In the following sections we discuss the main components of the Oracle DBMS (Version 7.X) architecture (Section 6. to each user connected to the server logically a separate server is assigned.

the so-called System Global Area (SGA). Redo-Log-Buffer This buffer contains information about changes of data blocks in the database buffer. the log writer process writes information about the modifications to the redo-log files. the database buffer. in order to restore the database (database recovery). Shared Pool The shared pool is the part of the SGA that is used by all users. Data blocks are modified in the database buffer. These processes maintain and enforce the relationships between the database’s physical structures and memory structures. to check whether a table column specified in a query exists. Database Buffer The database buffer is a cache in the SGA used to hold the data blocks that are read from data files. The number 59 . Further storage structures in the computer’s main memory are the log-archive buffer (optional) and the Program Global Area (PGA). Furthermore. there is a set of processes. for example. If several users connect to an instance at the same time. The memory in the PGA is not sharable. as well as process information. The memory and processes associated with an instance are responsible for efficiently managing the data stored in the database. The SGA serves as that part of the memory where all database operations occur. If the same SQL statement is issued several times. The SGA consists of the shared pool. and to allow users accessing the database concurrently. The information stored in the SGA can be subdivided into the following three caches. It contains the user’s context area (cursors. When free space is needed in the buffer. These files are used after. The PGA is the area in the memory that is used by a single Oracle user process.g. While the redo-log-buffer is filled during data modifications. Oracle manages the space available in the database buffer by using a least recently used (LRU) algorithm. The library cache contains information about the most recently issued SQL commands such as the parse tree and query execution plan. they all share the SGA. typically each instance is associated with a particular application domain. The size of the database buffer has a major impact on the overall performance of a database. Information about database objects is stored in the data dictionary tables. Blocks can contain table data. When information is needed by the database. For each database instance. the least recently used blocks will be written out to the data files.Each time a database is started on the server (instance startup).. index data etc. The Oracle server can manage multiple instances. Note that all SQL statements require accessing the data dictionary. several background processes are started. a system crash. The main components of this pool are the dictionary cache and the library cache. Thus keeping relevant portions of the dictionary in the cache may increase the performance. and the redo-log buffer. the dictionary tables are read and the data returned is stored in the dictionary cache. it need not be parsed again and all information about executing the statement can be retrieved from the library cache.). variables etc. e. a portion of the computer’s main memory is allocated. The combination of SGA and processes is called database instance. The log-archive buffer is used to temporarily cache redolog entries that are to be archived in special files.

For this.of processes varies depending on the instance configuration. USER The task of this process is to communicate with other processes started by application programs such as SQL*Plus. LGWR overwrites the contents of the first redo-log file. In this case the ARCH process copies redo-log entries to archive files before the entries are overwritten by LGWR. 60 . The logical database structures include: Database A database consists of one or more storage divisions. see Section 6. This includes. Once the last redo-log file is filled. Each database has at least one tablespace. after a system crash).g. It cleans up the database from aborted transactions and objects involved. All database objects are logically stored in tablespaces. Physical structures. for example. ARCH (optional) The LGWR background process writes to the redo-log files in a cyclic fashion.2 Logical Database Structures For the architecture of an Oracle database we distinguish between logical and physical database structures that make up a database. The process only writes blocks to the files if more blocks are going to be read into the buffer than free blocks exist. In particular. this process is responsible for coalescing contiguous free extents to larger extents (space defragmentation.. It is possible to run a database instance in the archive-log mode. One can distinguish between user processes and Oracle processes. Thus it is possible to restore the contents of the database to any time after the archive-log mode was started. DBWR This process is responsible for managing the contents of the database buffer and the dictionary cache. Other tablespaces can be created and used for different applications or tasks. PMON The process monitor process cleans up behind failed user processes and it also cleans up the resources used by these processes. so-called tablespaces. The USER process then is responsible for sending respective operations and requests to the SGA or PGA. reading data blocks. the system monitor process performs instance recovery as needed (e. DBWR writes modified data blocks to the data files. Oracle processes are typically background processes that perform I/O operations at database run-time.2). in contrast. LGWR This process manages writing the contents of the redo-log-buffer to the redo-log files. that contains the data dictionary. SMON When a database instance is started. PMON wakes up periodically to check whether it is needed. the SYSTEM tablespace. are determined by the operating system files that constitute the database. Logical structures describe logical areas of storage (name spaces) where objects such as tables can be stored. 6. Like SMON. Tablespaces A tablespace is a logical division of a database.

6.Segments If a database object (e. Information about the extents allocated for database objects can be found in the data dictionary view USER EXTENTS. A database uses and allocates free database space in Oracle data blocks. a tablespace for temporary query results and tables (TEMP). One data block corresponds to a specific number of bytes of physical database space on disk. A special type of segments are rollback segments.. Oracle uses rollback segments in order to maintain read consistency among multiple users. A data block size is specified for each Oracle database when the database is created. These views show how many blocks are allocated for a database object and how many blocks are available (free) in a segment/extent. Modifications are undone using rollback segments. Multiple data files for a tablespace allows the server to distribute a database object over multiple disks (depending on the size of the object). Typically. 61 . Information about data blocks can be retrieved from the data dictionary views USER SEGMENTS and USER EXTENTS. and a tablespace for rollback segments. rollback segments are used to restore the “before image” of modified tuples in the event of a rollback of the modifying transaction. and a tablespace used by applications such as SQL*Forms (TOOLS). Typically. A database typically consists of a SYSTEM tablespace containing the data dictionary and further internal tables.. The size of this tablespace and its segments depends on the type and size of transactions that are typically performed by application programs. They don’t contain a database object. Thus a database essentially is a collection of data files that can be stored on different storage devices (magnetic tape. This portion is called a segment. automatically a portion of the tablespace is allocated. due to insertions of tuples into a table). only magnetic disks are used. procedures etc.3 Physical Database Structure The physical database structure of an Oracle database is determined by files and data blocks: Data Files A tablespace consists of one or more operating system files that are stored on disk. Extent An extent is the smallest logical storage unit that can be allocated for a database object.).g. Additional tablespaces include a tablespace for user data (USERS). The segment associated with a database object belongs to exactly one tablespace. Blocks An extent consists of one or more contiguous Oracle data blocks. but contain a “before image” of modified data for which the modifying transaction has not yet been committed. A block determines the finest level of granularity of where data can be stored. For each table there is a table segment.g. This tablespace can be defined during the creation of a database. an additional extent is allocated for the object. and it consists a contiguous sequence of data blocks! If the size of a database object increases (e. Furthermore. a table or a cluster) is created. For indexes so-called index segments are allocated. optical disks etc.. an extra tablespace (RBS) is used to store rollback segments.

When a transaction is executed. Control Files Each database instance has at least one control file. aside from datafiles three further types of files are associated with a database instance: Redo-Log Files Each database instance maintains a set of redo-log files.1. Each time an instance is started. while the blocks affected by the transactions are not immediately written back to disk. Archive/Backup Files If an instance is running in the archive-log mode. In this file the name of the database instance and the locations (disks) of the data files and redo-log files are recorded. modifications are entered in the redo-log buffer. block extent Figure 5: Relationships between logical and physical database structures 62 . The logs are used to recover the database’s transactions in their proper order in the event of a database crash (the recovering operations are called roll forward). the data and redo-log files are determined by using the control file(s). These files are used to record logs of all transactions.As mentioned in Section 6. redo−log file database control file datafile tablespace table index segment cluster rollback seg. thus allowing optimizing the performance through batch writes. the ARCH process archives the modifications of the redo-log files in extra archive or backup files. In contrast to redo-log files. these files are typically not overwritten. The following ER schema illustrates the architecture of an Oracle database instance and the relationships between physical and logical database structures (relationships can be read as “consists of”).

execution plan) can be used. clusters) that require their own storage area. a query execution plan is generated by the query optimizer. this plan is stored in the library cache. Since the system typically does not know what the size of the 63 . Assume a user (working with SQL*Plus) issues an update statement on the table TAB such that more than one tuple is affected by the update. the modifications can be committed by the user using the commit command. If the user issues a commit. it is parsed and after verifying the statement (user privileges. Together with the parse tree. Then the server (or rather the query processor) checks whether this statement is already contained in the library cache such that the corresponding information (parse tree. The statement is passed to the server by the USER process. After all tuples (or rather the corresponding data blocks) have been modified in the database buffer. 6. As long as no commit has been issued by the user. the modified data blocks in the database buffer are overwritten by the original blocks stored in the rollback segments. indexes. whether the corresponding data blocks already exist in the database buffer.4 Steps in Processing an SQL Statement In the following we sketch how an SQL statement is processed by the Oracle server and which processes and buffers involved. If the statement can not be found. the USER process reads the data blocks into the database buffer. 2. While the redo-log buffer is filled during the data block modifications. the LGWR process writes entries from the redo-log buffer to the redo-log files. 3. the least recently used blocks of other objects are written back to the disk by the DBWR process. Furthermore. the “before image” of the tuples is written to the rollback segments by the DBWR process. 5.6. modifications can be undone using the rollback statement. If not. 1. the space allocated for the blocks in the rollback segments is deallocated and can be used by other transactions.5 Creating Database Objects For database objects (tables. In this case. affected tables and columns) using data from the dictionary cache. the modified blocks in the database buffer are unlocked such that other users now can read the modified blocks. For the objects affected by the statement (here the table TAB) it is checked. The modified blocks are only written to the disk by the DBWR process if the space allocated for the blocks is needed for other blocks. The modifications of the tuples affected by the update occurs in the database buffer. If there is not enough space in the buffer. 4. The end of the transaction (more precisely the commit) is recorded in the redo-log files. 6. Before the data blocks are modified. a segment in a tablespace is allocated. 7.

we thus would get the following logical database structure for the table STOCKS (assuming that four extents have already been allocated): initial 1M 1. The parameter maxextents specifies the admissible number of extents. has the possibility to explicitly specify the storage parameters using a storage clause in. Suppose the following table definition that includes a storage clause: create table STOCKS (ITEM varchar2(30). This parameter allows the user to allocate a large amount of space when an object is created. Extent 400k 2. meaning that each subsequent extent is 50% larger than the preceding extent. The user. e. and the next extent has a size of 400KB. Extent 900k 4. The default and minimum value is 1. already the initial extent should be big enough to hold the database object. The parameter minextents specifies the total number of extents allocated when the segment is created. In this case. The default value is 50. the initial extent has a size of 1MB. In the definition above. For indexes a storage clause can be specified as well create index STOCK IDX on STOCKS(ITEM) storage (initial 200k next 100k minextents 1 maxextents 5).g. the Oracle server (more precisely the resource manager) tries to allocate contiguous data blocks on disks for this object. Based on the above table definition. the create table statement. QUANTITY number(4)) storage (initial 1M next 400k minextents 1 maxextents 20 pctincrease 50). The parameter pctincrease specifies the percent by which each extent after the second grows over the previous extent. thus the defragmentation of data blocks associated with a database object can be prevented. some default storage parameters are used. however. even if the space available is not contiguous. respectively. initial and next specify the size of the first and next extents. 64 . This specification then overwrites the system parameters and allows the user to specify the (expected) storage size of the object in terms of extents. Extent 600k 3.database object will be.. Extent Figure 6: Logical Storage Structure of the Table STOCKS If the space required for a database object is known before creation.